However, many folks might not realize that playing tennis for one hour burns about 600 calories, making it as effective as jogging or an indoor cycling class. And the beauty of tennis is that it challenges your mind and your body.
The tactical aspect of the game keeps your mind occupied while your body gets a good workout—the short term goals of reaching that little yellow ball in time makes it a complex sport full of small rewards and limitless challenges.
Cardiovascular1 of 6
Bjorn Borg accurately characterized a tennis match as "a thousand little sprints." The quick anaerobic movements the sport demands burns fat, increases your heart rate and promotes higher energy levels.
Muscle Development2 of 6
In addition to the cardiovascular health benefits of tennis, the game also combines rigorous strength training in your legs, arms and upper body. And it's not just in a static, repetitive set of muscles.
A tennis match requires players to move side to side, up and back and at differing speeds to test a variety of muscles in your legs. And the inherent movements in a typical match help to improve forearm strength, back muscles and core development.
Tactical - Brain Development3 of 6
Tennis is based on geometry and physics, and can help develop tactical thinking similar to playing a game of chess. Since a large proponent of playing tennis involves alertness and tactical thinking to develop shot patterns, the sport helps to generate new connections between nerves in the brain.
Played over the course of many years, tennis can help improve or maintain brain development, keeping you alert and sharp well into your golden years.
Coordination4 of 6
The more you play tennis, the more you develop the fine motor skills required in ball striking, gauging distance and personal coordination.
Tennis tests your balance, speed, footwork and hand-eye coordination through a variety of techniques and movements. The better you become on the courts, you can also expect these attributes improve other aspects of your life.
Self-Esteem5 of 6
In a recent study performed at Southern Connecticut State University, which tested the psychological benefits of several sports and among non-athletes, tennis players scored higher in self-esteem, vigor and optimism, while scoring lower for factors such as confusion, tension, anxiety and depression.
Regularly playing tennis can help keep you motivated on your professional path, as well as help you overcome obstacles that you may encounter in your personal life.
Other sports may provide differing levels of health benefits—swimming for upper body, running for leg strength and soccer for tactical reasoning—but none of them combine them in such an efficient package as the sport of tennis.