It’s no secret that maintaining a healthy exercise routine is a fundamental part of life for all ages, especially for seniors. While trying out a new sport is tricky and challenging, it’s definitely a worthwhile endeavor if you find the right sport for your own specific needs. Most seniors don’t consider themselves the active type, and the challenge of mastering a sport or feelings of boredom that often comes with exercise options make it hard to stay committed to staying fit. But, why not tennis? A one-hour tennis match can burn up to 600 calories, it burns fat, increases heart rate, and promotes higher energy levels. And, it’s fun.
If you are looking for a new way to get fit, here are three reasons to love tennis.
Tennis makes it easy to commit to a fitness routine.
The social aspect of sports contributes greatly to the health benefits that players enjoy, and some sports seem to offer this element in better forms than others. This is important, because this factor determines whether you will play it in the long term, and as a consequence have a valuable way to stay happy, healthy, and fit, especially as the need for it increases with age. Tennis, along with other racket sports, has been observed to provide people with more of the incentive to keep playing, in contrast to running, or team sports such as football and rugby.
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Tennis is better than team play… at one crucial thing.
While tennis does seem to be less of a social activity than team sports, where players can develop very deep and strong bonds, The Telegraph suggests people who play tennis often have much larger social networks, owing to how the sport often involves clubs and organized activities outside the game. On the other hand, people who play team sports when younger often have a more difficult time moving onto a new sport after their teams disband because of common life changes, such as moving to a new place or starting a family.
Tennis plays the long game.
Tennis is indeed unique as it is a sport that one can play for a lifetime. Young people—including children—serve to benefit from the game by learning sportsmanship, self-discipline and independence at an early age. The game’s social aspect begins to become even more valuable as they integrate more deeply into society, with Play Your Court pointing out how it provides them with a social outlet, a form of exercise, and a competitive hobby all at once. This remains true as they enter middle and old age; if you have any doubts, remember that Dorothy Cheney was still playing until just a few years before she passed away… at 98!
And she’s just one of the women who’ve proven that the game is for everyone. Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, and the Williams sisters—all past champions of the women-only Bank of the West Classic tournament held at the Stanford Campus are just some of those who’ve been crucial in pushing the game forward and in keeping it exciting for new and experienced players alike. After all, for a game that you can play for a lifetime, it helps to always have new things to try.
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The physical and mental benefits of the sport, its relatively low amount of risk for injury, along with the valuable space it opens up not only for meeting new people but for bonding with family, make tennis a sport that everyone must at least try once.
Peter William is a guest contributor for 39forlife.com.