An abundance of health benefits makes tennis a great workout choice.
Participation manager at Tennis Australia and former Samantha Stosur coach, Craig Morris, said that tennis requires you to move constantly towards the ball like a netballer, to reach upwards to serve like a swimmer, and to move your legs like a footballer.
Tennis players have also been found to have improved aerobic fitness, lower body fat levels, a better lipid profile and improved bone health.
According to a US study at the Miller Family Heart and Vascular Institute, three hours of the game per week could halve your heart disease risk.
The stop-start pace of tennis contributes to a lot of its benefits because it’s akin to interval training. A typical tennis movement takes four to 10 seconds, followed by a pause of about 20 seconds. This format of exercise has been shown to up fitness levels and burn kilojoules, noted Tennis Australia’s physical performance manager, Aaron Kellett.
Your body is not the only beneficiary of a tennis match, though. A Southern Connecticut State University study found tennis players scored higher on optimism and self-esteem, and lower on depression, anger and anxiety.
Tennis can be a high impact sport as your muscles absorb the impact of landing on the court. Those who are unfit or elderly need to warm up properly and start slowly, Morris explained. However, he noted that as your body adapts to the impact you become stronger and are less likely to suffer from injuries.