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Jun 10

6 health benefits of playing tennis and why its a good idea to add it to your workout program – GQ India

Tennis is one of the most popular racket sports in the world. It can be played individually against a single opponent or between two teams of two players each. Tennis is an enjoyable way to maintain your health, fitness, strength and agility. As tennis can be played by people of all ages and fitness levels, we spoke to some of Indias leading experts to learn more about its health benefits. Heres what they said.

Tennis is a great addition to any workout regime because it improves metabolic function, muscle tone, strength and flexibility. It also boosts aerobic capabilities. Tennis also helps increase your reaction time and attention span, remarks Sonakshi Bagla, fitness expert and founder of Shakti Warrior, an athletic wear brand.

1. Boosts Brain Power and Mood

Playing tennis regularly can improve your critical and tactical thinking and mental alertness. A good lifestyle includes a balanced blend of adequate physical activity and a modulated diet. While dietitians can advise people to eat a balanced diet and even curate a dietary schedule, it is important to supplement that with a good exercise regime. And for those, who find that too boring, you could invest in a sport like tennis. Tennis requires full body coordination and hence, it keeps the brain active. This further results in the active release of serotonin, which helps you to sleep soundly, says dietician and fitness expert Vidhi Chawla, founder of Fisico Diet Clinic.

2. Aids Weight Loss

Playing tennis is an excellent cardiovascular workout where you are constantly running, pivoting or stretching various muscles of your body. Moreover, as per reports from the American Dietetic Association, recreational tennis players can burn an estimated 600 to 1,320 calories per two-hour singles session while competitive players can burn between 768 to 1,728 calories. Therefore, adding tennis to your weight loss regime is beneficial.

3. Improves Overall Fitness Levels

Tennis can help you improve your overall physical health in daily life by lowering your resting heart rate and blood pressure. Tennis is a full-body workout. As you sprint around the tennis court, you work your leg muscles. Your core is working as you maintain your balance while chasing the ball. Participating in this sport can help you improve your balance, flexibility, coordination, and agility, adds nutritionist Dr Rohini Patil.

4. Reduces Stress

Tennis also provides an opportunity for social interaction and reduces stress. Furthermore, playing tennis regularly releases serotonin and endorphins, which decrease stress, anxiety and depression, and have a positive impact on your mood and sleep.

5. Decreases the Risk of Osteoporosis

According to the National Institutes of Health, weight-bearing exercises such as tennis help prevent diseases like osteoporosis, which is a bone disease that occurs when the body loses too much bone, makes too little bone, or both. While playing tennis, every time you raise your racquet to hit the ball, youre working against gravity that helps strengthen your bones.

6. Improves Strength, Agility and Balance

Tennis is a full-body workout with great health benefits. In my opinion, tennis is outstanding for strength, agility, speed and conditioning. A continuous process of starts and stops helps in strengthening the leg muscles. Moreover, quick agile movements are required as the player sprints from one side to the other. Quick accelerations and even quicker stops build great muscle motor control over a period of time, says Harpreet Vir Singh, fitness expert and founder, YourHappyLife and Roots Premier League.

Additionally, regularly playing tennis will improve your balance as the sport trains your body to maintain its equilibrium while hitting the ball and serving with a two-foot extension of your arm. The constant switching of movement in tennis teaches your body and brain to adapt more quickly.

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6 health benefits of playing tennis and why its a good idea to add it to your workout program - GQ India

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