Today is World Tennis Day and the tennis world is celebrating with exhibition matches, introducing the sport to kids and generally paying homage to a great sport that can be played from ages 2 to 99.
There are many reasons to play tennis and here are five good ones:
1. Physical Health
Tennis is a very physical sport. For amateur competitive tennis, the only time movement ceases in a one to three hour time period is a 90-second water break every two games.
Physical fitness is important and if you are not fit in the beginning, you will be in a short period of time and not even feel like you are "working out". Keeping weight gain at bay is important so that movement on the court can be swift.
But unlike a sport like gymnastics, nobody has to be all muscle or thin to play tennis. Larger people can use their strength to their advantage, and frequent playing can keep weight gain at bay for those prone to packing on the pounds.
Tennis is a workout the entire body. It's an aerobic and cardio exercise (keeping the waistline healthy) and also strengthens leg and arm muscles.
Playing tennis encourages good breathing techniques because a 25-second lapse is all you get between shots. It's not a sport for those that don't like to move but it's so much fun you won't realize the calories being used up and the lean muscle being gained!
2. Mental Health
Tennis isn't just about physical health. Playing tennis is mentally taxing.
When playing singles, it's just you against your opposition. You're on your own, which makes it both thrilling and terrifying in the best possible way!
Your mind is constantly focusing on strategy, mentally psyching out your opponent and being able to change your play in an instant if you can see it's working against you.
In doubles, tennis becomes a really fast game with shots being lobbed, volleyed, ground stroked and smashed against you and your partner.
You need to work well and fast with your partner and again, focus on strategy and keeping mentally strong, especially when not doing well.