I've been playing tennis for over 40 years and I love it. There are so many positives that have come out of this sport for me. Some of them are obvious, but others have surprised me.
Tennis is a sport that's suitable for all ages and skill levels; almost anybody who wants to play can do so. I started when I was in my teens, and I am still going strong as I approach the age of 60. I have no plans to ever lay down my racquet, as long as I can help it.
This article lists and looks at six of the main advantages of playing tennis that I've experienced over the decades that I've been playing.
6 Advantages of Playing Tennis
Here are 6 positives associated with the sport:
- It's Fun
- Keeps You Physically Fit and Healthy
- Reduces Stress
- Suitable for All Ages and Skill Levels
I explore each benefit in more detail below:
1. It's Fun
One major reason why tennis is such a popular sport to play is that it's an enjoyable way to spend time.
The sport combines a variety of elements, such as: strategy and tactics, learning, physical exertion, social interaction, and friendly competition.
Given a choice between sitting around watching television at home and running around in the fresh air playing tennis, many people choose to pick up their racket and head to a court, because it's so much more joyful.
As far as physical exercise goes, I've always found working out regularly in a gym, or jogging difficult, because for me those activities are repetitive and boring.
Tennis is an easier way to stay fit, as you're active without even thinking about it and constantly entertained.
2. Keeps You Physically Fit and Healthy
The physical health benefits of playing tennis are many, according to the findings of numerous studies. They include such positives as:
- Improves aerobic capacity
- Lowers resting heart rate and blood pressure:
- Shortens reaction times
- Increases bone density
- Reduces body fat
- Improves muscle strength, tone, and flexibility
- Increases stamina for physical activities
As hobbies and pastimes go, tennis is a surprisingly inexpensive pursuit.
All you essentially need is:
- A racquet (many affordable options are generally available)
- Balls (inexpensive)
- Some suitable footwear and clothes (affordable options are generally available)
- A court to play on (which can often be booked for a low cost, or even be free)
Of course, tennis doesn't necessarily have to be cheap. You can go out and buy an expensive racket and join a private club, if you choose.
Some people will be happy to spend more, if they become seriously hooked to the sport. However, it's certainly not necessary to break the bank, if you just want to play.
Sports have always formed a major part of my social life and tennis is no exception.
In fact, whenever I move to another city, the first thing that I do is join a team and immediately I find I'm meeting fun and interesting people. Sometimes I'll make new friends this way, folks that I want to socialize with off the courts, as well as on.
Tennis teams, clubs, or just informal groups of players are also great sources of local information and practical contacts. If I need someone to trim a tree, am looking for a superior Indian restaurant, or I need a good property lawyer, I will ask around at tennis before I do anything else, and the chances are that someone will tell me where to go, or who to contact.
5. Reduces Stress
Tennis isn't just good for your physical health, there's plenty of evidence that it can be great for your mental health, too. The physical exertion involved affects the chemicals released by the brain, such as serotonin and endorphins, and can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.
For sure, there has been much publicity regarding the negative mental health effects of the game on some of the pro players. However, my own experience as an enthusiastic amateur is that I can feel mentally and emotionally frazzled after dealing with a difficult day at work, but after a couple of hours on the tennis court in the evening, I can come away feeling relaxed and reinvigorated.
6. Suitable for All Ages and Skill Levels
As I mentioned earlier, one of the best things about tennis is that it can be played by all ages and at different skill levels.
Younger players can learn teamwork, sportsmanship, strategic thinking, and self-confidence. Older players can sustain their physical health, as well as experience the social benefits that tennis brings. There are also variants such as wheelchair tennis for those with disability issues.
While it's not always straightforward to find other players who are of a similar standard to yourself, I've found that joining the local USTA team can work well, as you usually play with and against people who are ranked at the same skill level.
© 2022 Paul Goodman