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8 health benefits of tennis for older adults

Jul 16, 2015
written by: Catherine Cameron
written by: Catherine Cameron
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This past weekend at my community tennis club, I watched as the cutest couple ventured onto the courts. She was six, he was 65… and it was the first time this little girl and her grandpa had ever played tennis together. In fact, to mark the occasion, the youngest of the pair was wearing a pink tutu to match her pink running shoes.

As it turned out, she has just begun taking lessons in preparation for two weeks of summer tennis camp, and he had never held a tennis racquet before. Clearly, their lack of experience was in no way impinging on their fun. Both were smiling and laughing the entire 45 minutes they played.

When I shook their hands and congratulated them on their terrific game, I commented on how much the gentleman seemed to be enjoying himself.  His reply brought a smile to my face: “it only took me 65 years to step onto a tennis court!”

Tennis of course, offers fun, social and health benefits for players of all ages. But did you know that it’s growing in popularity among older adults? Happily it is… and for good reason.

Benefits to older adults include:

  1. A reduced risk of heart disease.
  2. Improved flexibility, balance and coordination (often resulting in fewer falls).
  3. Tennis boosts brain power (tennis requires creativity, agility, tactical thinking and coordination which helps keep our brains active).
  4. Tennis supports bone health (weight bearing exercise helps us build and maintain strong bones).
  5. Weight maintenance (exercise can help us maintain a healthy weight).
  6. Socialization. Get out, get active, enjoy time with friends and meet new ones.
  7. FUN! Fun and laughter are good for us all and enhance our health and happiness at every age.
  8. Happiness (people who exercise on a regular basis tend to experience less stress, anxiety, and depression. They have a happier outlook on life.

Don’t be shy about taking up tennis as an adult or older adult. It’s a low impact game that can be modified to the needs of players at every stage of life. Play it for fun. Play it for fitness. Play it for life!