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5 benefits to taking up tennis

Dec 13, 2011, 11:43 a.m.

While you may never become a tennis great like Anna Kournikova or Andre Agassi (or have their bodies for that matter), taking up tennis has myriad benefits. Sure, you may stumble around the court looking very much like a fish out of water, but the more you practice, the better you'll become. No matter how much time you spend working on your tennis skills, you'll be reaping the rewards. The following are five benefits to taking up tennis.

Better Health

Any exercise is better than no exercise, but running around the court is a great way to burn calories and help you get in shape. By losing weight and getting regular aerobic activity you can reduce your blood pressure, lower cholesterol, reduce your risk for diabetes and even lessen your dependence on type 2 diabetic medications.

Improved Mental Acuity

Put the crossword puzzles away; studies have shown that improving your mental acuity can help stave off Alzheimer's and other neurological age-related disorders. Tennis requires you to be alert and to use tactical thinking. This kind of mental activity can create new connections between the nerves in your brain which improves your overall mental health.

Socialization

Considering that you can't effectively play tennis alone, taking up tennis can open up a new world of social connections. By joining a tennis club you can meet many more people, and who knows, you might even make a new friend or two.

Psychological Benefits

If you're retired, or plan on retiring soon, you may fear great expanses of time in which you have nothing to do. By going from an active lifestyle to just picking daisies you can become depressed, withdrawn and lose your self-esteem. Tennis is a great motivator! By learning how to play tennis you'll boost your self confidence and exercise is one of the best ways to alleviate depression.

Stress Relief

Fitness experts all agree that physical activity can reduce your stress. What, however, is better than swinging at a ball and sending it flying toward your opponent? Not only are you getting to run around the court and burn off your stress, but you get to HIT things! Even better, you can grunt or scream as you hit the ball. Who needs therapy when you can have tennis?

The benefits to taking up tennis go beyond improving your physical health. All you need to do is pick up a racket, some balls and hit the court. Once you get started you'll never want to stop.

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