Top Reasons to Play
Have you thought about your heart health lately? In February, the NHLBI encourages you to celebrate American Heart Month to get motivated to adopt heart-healthy behaviors. One of the ways you can take care of your heart and improve your health is by playing tennis with your friends and family.
In other words, join the 3 million new players who picked up a racquet for the first time in 2020 because tennis is the safest sport to play in order to maintain social distance and safety while having fun.1
Reasons to play:
According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, “Research shows that we’re more successful at meeting personal health goals when we join forces with others. When we take care of our hearts as part of our self-care, we set an example for those around us to do the same.”
There are a multitude of reasons why playing tennis is a great activity to improve your health at any age. Whether it is your first time picking up a racquet, or if you are a seasoned player the heart health benefits are endless.
Play tennis to improve your health by:
- Get fit, lose weight and burn more calories: An hour of singles play can burn 580-870 calories. Put on your favorite fitness tracker, hit the tennis court and watch those calories sizzle away!2
- Live longer: Playing just three hours/week will reduce your risk of heart disease 56%3
- Strengthen your heart muscle and your bones: Compared to other sports, tennis players have the lowest incidence of cardiovascular disease4
- Develop hand-eye coordination: Playing tennis involves several skills that all contribute to good hand-eye coordination. You can improve your agility, balance, coordination, reaction time, and more.
Together we can celebrate American Heart Month with stronger and healthier hearts today by getting out to play.
But wait there’s more. The advantages of playing tennis do not stop there.
Additionally, the lifetime sport of tennis helps your mental and overall well-being by:
- Reducing stress: Tennis helps you with physical, mental, social, and emotional challenges which increases your capacity to manage stress
- Increasing brain power: From alertness to tactical thinking, tennis enhances the neural connections in your brain. Kids who play tennis regularly get better grades.5
- Helping you learn to problem-solve: Tennis is a sport that is based on evaluating angles, geometry, and physics to get the best result, which translates into better problem-solving off the court6
- Enjoying time with family and friends: Great for the whole family no matter what your age. With minimal equipment needed, it’s easy to meet up with a friend to play or find one through the game
- Developing teamwork and sportsmanship skills: From doubles play to team and league play, tennis develops your ability to communicate and work together
- Improving social skills: Tennis outperforms all other sports in developing positive personality characteristics7
Ready to get out on the courts?
Most importantly, playing tennis is not just about the competition, it is about living your life to the fullest potential. Additionally, tennis can become part of your life at any age. So get started and gain a positive impact on your life immediately. During American Heart Month, inspire and motivate yourself and those you love to make heart-healthier choices as a regular part of your routine – go play tennis!
12020 Physical Activity Council Participation (PAC) Report
2Oja, et al, Brit J Sports Med, 2016
3According to a 2016 Harvard University study
440-year study conducted by Johns Hopkins University
5 2013 USTA Study
6In a study in the late 1990s, several experts proposed that tennis, since it requires alertness and tactical thinking, may generate new connections between nerves in the brain and promote a lifetime of continuing brain development. This was supported in John Ratey’s book “Spark.” Ratey was quoted in USA Today as saying, “A heart-thumping game of tennis can keep the brain in top shape.”
7According to a study by Dr. Jim Gavin at Concordia University