Reasons to Play Tennis

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For a longer, healthier life, tennis is a sport you should play.

You can beat death in the game of life by playing the game of tennis…a sport for life.

New study finds lack of exercise is deadlier than obesity.

Article from NBC News


Racquet sports – tennis, squash or badminton – seem to keep people the healthiest. Compared to couch potatoes, people who played these sports had a 47 percent lower risk of dying over the nine years after they were first surveyed.

The risk of death was:

  • -28 percent lower among swimmers
  • -27 percent lower for people doing aerobics or dance
  • -15 percent lower among cyclist
  • -47 percent for people who regularly play racquet sports such as tennis

People who want to live to a ripe old age might want to choose tennis, swimming or group aerobic classes for their exercise.

That does not mean other forms of exercise are not important. But if you want to do the “best” sports for a long and healthy life, you should probably pick up a racquet or swim rather than go running – a finding that surprised researchers.

“We found that there is definitely a reduction in your risk of dying from all causes if you are a cyclist, if you did aerobics, if you are a swimmer and if you did racquet sports,” said Charlie Foster, an expert in exercise and health at University of Oxford in Britain.

“We oddly didn’t find any reduction in risk from running or football (soccer), Foster told NBC News.

Foster thinks team sports may help people in more ways than just keeping fit.

“There are particular social and psychological and mental health benefits other sports don’t generate in the same way,” he said. “Perhaps people like to stick with them and perhaps do them with their buddies. They enjoy hanging out with people and playing and having fun.”

Exercise lowers risk for 13 cancer types.

Exercise keeps your brain young.

Exercise lowers medical bills

Foster and colleagues around the world studied 80,000 men and women for the research, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. They chose to look at activities popular in England and Scotland, so not all types of exercise are included.

Most of those surveyed, who were on average 52 years old, did not do much exercise at all. Only about 44 percent of the people surveyed met the recommendations for physical activity – equivalent to about 30 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week, or vigorous activity at least three days a week, or more.

“You don’t have to take a sport seriously. You just have to take it regularly.”





There are many reasons for people of all ages to play tennis. Tennis is one of the only sports you can play all your life, from the youngest ages to the oldest. Tennis is a sport with many health benefits including physical, mental and social.

The following information is taken from Tennis Industry Association (TA)

Physical Benefits: According to a Harvard University study of 10,000 people over a 20-year period, play three hours of tennis a week and you reduce the risk of serious health problems buy half.

Tennis burns calories, keeps your heart healthy, develops tones and strengthens muscles, increases bone strength and density, improves flexibility and tennis improves balance, coordination add reaction time.

Mental Benefits: According to a study by Illinois University tennis requires alertness and tactical thinking it generates connections between nerves and the brain and thus promotes a lifetime of continuing development for the brain.

- Tennis develops yoru mid, develops a good work ethic, self-discipline, helps manage mistakes, helps problem-solving and managing adversity and tennis helps manage and reduce STRESS.

Social Benefits: According to Dr. Jim Gavin, Concordia University and the author of The Exercise Habit, tennis outperforms all other sports in developing positive personality characteristics and physical fitness behaviour.

- Tennis develops social skills, great family time, develops teamwork, teaches sportsmanship and tennis imporoves your self-image and confidence.

The list below is taken from the U.S. Tennis Association website. It was an article that they wrote in association with Jack L. Groppel Ph.D. To view the article in its original form please visit the USTA website at:


Why play tennis?

1. Aerobic fitness by burning fat and improving your cardiovascular fitness and maintaining higher energy levels.

2. Anaerobic fitness by offering short, intense bursts of activity during a point followed by rest, which helps muscles use oxygen efficiently.

3. Ability to accelerate by providing practice in sprinting, jumping and lunging quickly.

4. Powerful first step by requiring anticipation, quick reaction time and explosion into action.

5. Speed through a series of side-to-side and up and back sprints to chase the ball.

6. Leg strength through hundreds of starts and stops that build stronger leg muscles.

7. General body coordination since you have to move into position and then adjust your upper body to hit the ball successfully.

8. Gross motor control through movement and ball-striking skills that require control of your large muscle groups.

9. Fine motor control by use of touch shots like angled volleys, drop shots and lobs.

10. Agility by forcing you to change direction as many as five times in 10 seconds during a typical point.

11. Dynamic balance through hundreds of starts, stops, changes of direction and hitting on the run.

12. Cross-training through a physically demanding sport that’s fun for athletes who specialize in other sports.

13. Bone strength and density by strengthening bones of young players and helping prevent osteoporosis in older ones.

14. Immune system through its conditioning effects, which promote overall health, fitness and resistance to disease.

15. Nutritional habits by eating appropriately before competition to enhance energy production and after competition to practice proper recovery methods.

16. Hand-eye coordination because you constantly judge the timing between the oncoming ball and the proper contact point.

17. Flexibility due to the constant stretching and maneuvering to return the ball to your opponent. Psychological reasons to play tennis Tennis helps you:

18. Develop a work ethic because improvement through lessons or practice reinforces the value of hard work.

19. Develop discipline since you learn to work on your skills in practice and control the pace of play in competition.

20. Manage mistakes by learning to play within your abilities, and realizing that managing and minimizing mistakes in tennis or life is critical.

21. Learn to compete one-on-one because the ability to do battle on court trains you in the ups and downs of a competitive world.

22. Accept responsibility by practicing skills and checking your equipment before a match, and by making accurate line calls during a match.

23. Manage adversity by learning to adjust to the elements (e.g. wind, sun) and still be able to compete tenaciously.

24. Control stress effectively because the physical, mental and emotional stress of tennis will force you to increase your capacity for dealing with stress.

25. Learn how to recover by adapting to the stress of a point and the recovery period between points, which is similar to the stress and recovery cycles in life.

26. Plan and implement strategies since you naturally learn how to anticipate your opponent’s moves and plan your countermoves.

27. Learn to solve problems since tennis is a sport based on angles, geometry and physics.

28. Develop performance rituals before serving or returning to control your rhythm of play and deal with pressure. These skills can transfer to taking exams, conducting a meeting or making an important sales presentation.

29. Learn sportsmanship since tennis teaches you to compete fairly with opponents.

30. Learn to win graciously and lose with honor. Gloating after a win or making excuses after a loss doesn’t work in tennis or in life.

31. Learn teamwork since successful doubles play depends on you and your partner’s ability to communicate and play as a cohesive unit.

32. Develop social skills through interaction and communication before a match, while changing sides on the court and after play.

33. Have fun - because the healthy feelings of enjoyment, competitiveness and physical challenge are inherent in the sport.

And, that brings us to reason No. 34: Tennis is truly the sport for a lifetime! The proof is in the playing.

Summary and reason No. 34 Is it any wonder that scientists and physicians around the world view tennis as the most healthful activity in which you can participate? While other sports can provide excellent health benefits and some can promote mental and emotional growth, none can compete with tennis in delivering overall physical, mental and emotional gains to those who play. All these benefits make tennis the ideal sport for kids to learn early in life. What parent wouldn’t want their children to have these advantages through their growing years? And, it’s never too late for adults of all ages to take up the game. The human system can be trained and improved at any stage of life. The key is to start playing now to get the most out of these benefits throughout your lifetime.