On what would have been the start of Wimbledon 2020 had it not been cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis, it’s time to discover the amazing health benefits of a game of tennis.

Health benefits of tennis

Playing tennis is one of the best full-body workouts you can get. Here, we’ve rounded up just a few reasons why playing tennis is great for your health.

1. It’s good for the heart

Whether you’re playing singles, doubles or just against yourself, tennis requires you to be constantly on the move around the court. All that running, crouching and jumping makes it a brilliant cardiovascular exercise, vigorously raising your heart rate.

Your heart is a muscle just like any other and in order for it to become strong, it must be worked. By getting the blood pumping on a regular basis, you can keep your ticker in shape and effectively lower your risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke.

2. It can increase your reaction times

Australian player Sam Groth has the record for the world’s fastest tennis serve, smacking the ball across the court at a whopping 163.7 mph. As proved by Groth, those little yellow spheres can fly at lightning-fast speeds, and opponents have mere milliseconds to clock the direction of the ball and manoeuvre themselves into the right position.

A typical (amateur) tennis match can last anywhere from one to two hours, meaning your brain must constantly improve its ability to react quickly to your opponent’s movements.

3. It burns calories and fat

"young woman playing Doubles tennis, hitting a forehand volley."

With a partner that can push you, singles tennis can burn between 400-600 calories an hour.

Think about it; you’re crouching, sprinting, pivoting and whacking the ball – full-body movements that require mammoth amounts of stamina and energy. Hitting the ball will whittle your core while building your shoulders and upper back, while all that side-to-side sprinting targets your hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, hips, abdominals and calves.

4. It’s good for your brain

Senior Tennis – Pretty Mature Woman Serving Ball in Tennis

There’s nothing worse than feeling like exercise is a chore. Whether aimlessly running on a treadmill or drilling through a gruelling list of bootcamp exercises, when your workout is tedious, you’re more likely to think, ‘Nah, forget it’ when the alarm goes off in the morning.

One of the amazing things about tennis is that it often doesn’t feel like exercise at all – the competitive and strategic element of the game means your mind is constantly engaged on scoring the next point, rather than watching the clock. You’re basically burning calories without even realising it.

5. It can boost your mood

Health benefits tennis

When the sun is shining and the skies are clear, is there anything better for your mood than inhaling lungful after lungful of fresh air? As well as getting a boost of all-important vitamin D (which maintains healthy bones and teeth), rallying your mates together for a game of tennis at your local court can help to boost the production of ‘feel-good’ chemicals in your brain – giving you an exercise high for the rest of the afternoon.

The best thing about swerving the usual pub meet-up for a game of tennis instead? There’s no hangover or hole in your wallet the morning after.

Read moreHere are 6 health benefits of playing golf.

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