When you enter your 40s, the idea of taking up a fast-paced sport like tennis that requires a lot of running may not sound appealing. But tennis is one of the most complete sports you can play to stay fit and healthy.
Tennis helps improve your physical fitness, keeps your mind sharp, and provides opportunities to socialize. And with public courts available all over the country and the world, it’s an easy sport to get involved in. If you need more convincing, read on to discover why we think folks in their 40+ years who aren’t already playing tennis should consider taking up the sport.
The most obvious benefit to playing tennis in your 40s and beyond is the physical aspect. Tennis is an extremely physical game. Chasing down dropshots and lobs provides a great muscle workout and increases your stamina. The continuous back and forth movement keeps your fitness levels up, while the various arm movements and twists and turns your body makes will tone your muscles and improve flexibility.
Opportunities for exercise – particularly cardio exercise – typically diminish as people grow older. Those who aren’t careful can easily pack on a few extra pounds and become out of shape. Tennis is a fantastic way to combat this with a strenuous full body workout. If you have physical limitations, you can still play tennis by wearing a knee brace or playing doubles so you don’t have to run as much.
Tennis is not simply a game of physical prowess. It also requires keen mental skills and discipline. Top players like Roger Federer use mental ability to outplay and out-think their opponents as much as they utilize sheer power and endurance.
Playing a mentally stimulating sport like tennis is a great way to keep your mind active and alert. You will be continually considering your next shot, watching your opponent’s movements, or anticipating the flow of play. A decent player with great smarts will often beat a good player who has no ability to adjust or adapt his game. Stay sharp mentally and you’ll accomplish a lot on the court.
Joining a tennis league or meeting new friends at the public tennis courts can expand your social circle, something that is always welcome as we age and tend to become less social. Working 40 hours a week and spending quality time with family are important activities, but getting some outside social activity is another important part of being a well-rounded person.
Even if you start playing tennis only once a week, that’s a couple hours where you can enjoy some exercise and have a chat and a little bit of friendly competition with colleagues or friends. Grab yourself a beginners’ racquet and hit the court. You might be surprised how much difference a leisurely game of tennis can make on your physical, mental, and social well-being.
Image: Creative Commons user windsortennis – no changes made.