Tennis is not only popular among the young population but also, a big number of senior populations is fond of playing tennis. Usually, in sports, a player retires after crossing 35. But you will be amazed to know that the International Tennis Federation has its own seniors and super senior division.
This clearly indicates that this racket based game has some outstanding advantages for seniors.
You should not forget José Guadalupe Leal Lemus, the oldest tennis player who regularly plays for a total of 79 years of his life and also named himself in Guinness world records.
When such older players are still into tennis, then why not you!
Tennis is a sport that involves creativity, tactical thinking, and coordination of the body. According to the research, playing tennis may increase life expectancy by nearly 10 years.
There are multitudes of benefits of playing tennis to senior.
So that’s the reason we decided to compile it in form of an article and share it with our audience.
I would suggest making your sluggish senior read this information about the benefits of tennis to seniors so that they will be motivated to go outside and play tennis.
This article will cover all the physical and mental benefits of tennis to seniors along with some important safety tips for older players.
Benefits of Playing Tennis for Seniors
MAINTAINS BODY FAT
To keep your organs in the proper functioning condition it is necessary to have an average percentage of body fat. A high percentage of body fat is associated with different diseases such as Coronary artery disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and atherosclerosis.
For your information, a senior tennis player is on the safe side because those who play tennis are likely to have a low percentage of body fat along with a healthy range of BMI.
According to the research tennis players age between 40-55 years, have below-average body fat.
This way you can imagine how smoothly your body will be working even in old age, as it also gives strength to your upper and lower body. Your seniors won’t complain of high blood pressure and knee pains.
MAINTAINS HEART HEALTH
Tennis is a sport that requires vigorous physical activity since the player has to move in various random directions to strike the tennis ball.
That is the reason tennis players have above average aerobic capacity. Increase oxygen intake enhances the health of both the heart and lungs.
Besides this, it also lowers the risk of various cardiovascular diseases.
The majority of the senior population suffers from Blood pressure disorder in old age. But playing tennis will help maintain normal blood pressure.
According to research male senior tennis players, age 40-60 have higher levels of good cholesterol than their sluggish old peers.
In short, if you want to stay away from heart and lung diseases, then you should start playing tennis.
MAINTAINS BONE HEALTH
You know what, tennis is said to be a weight-bearing sports or exercise. It is said that weight-bearing exercise such as tennis helps in maintaining bone density.
If bones are enough dense, then there will be fewer chances of osteoporosis and bone fractures.
According to a study, active women age 65 and plus who regularly play tennis are less likely to suffer from brittle bones and bone fracture.
One more study by the British Journal of sports medicine discloses that tennis players have higher levels of bone mineral content and bone mass density especially in the hip and lumbar spine region.
In elderly age, hip fractures are quite common; religiously playing tennis will ultimately protect you from a sudden bone fracture in old age.
Besides this, tennis helps maintain balance, coordination, and muscle agility in senior tennis players. These three factors are crucial to prevent falling in players.
If senior citizen keeps tennis in their daily routine, chances would be an increased balance, coordination and muscles agility with fewer falls. This will keep them independent, strong, and healthy as they age.
IMPROVES MEMORY AND MENTAL HEALTH
Ever wonder tennis can improve mental health?
Well, tennis is not only a sport that improves and maintains your physical health but it is also known for bringing some positive changes in your mental health.
You must have heard the name of Alzheimer’s disease which is just an invitation card to other problems and diseases to seniors.
Every older person prays not to have Alzheimer’s. Surprisingly, playing tennis vigorously will help lower the risk of Alzheimer’s in the future.
Besides this, tennis helps maintain cognitive function and intact your memory .not only this, it also makes your mind sharp.
In short, playing tennis after 50 will help prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
MAKES IMMUNITY SYSTEM STRONGER
Since tennis is all about physical activity. Normally increase physical activity will keep you safe from different types of bacterial and viral infection.
The reason is, physical activity will help aid in the flushing of bacteria out of the airways and lungs. This way you won’t even catch seasonal viral and bacterial infections such as hay fever, common, cold, and cough.
Furthermore, playing tennis will also make your antibodies and white blood cell more vigilant and active to respond against any foreign body inside your body.
There is no harm in saying that playing tennis can improve your immunity system and keeps you protected from different infections. Hence makes you stronger as you age.
DELAYS AGING PROCESS
Aging is a process that is associated with sarcopenia (loss of muscle mass) and osteoporosis. Truth is, you cannot avoid these two diseases in senior people.
But here comes a fact!
According to research, more than 25% of older age people age 70 years or more, experiences sarcopenia with a decline in normal body functions
You cannot avoid aging, but yes, tennis can slow these aging processes.
One study revealed that senior tennis players who have played for more than 10 years are less likely to suffer from fatigue, muscle weakness, and wasting of muscles. This is due to stronger knee extensor and flexor muscles that are used in playing tennis.
In short, if you want to stay active and look younger even in your 60s, playing tennis is one of the best solutions.
Tips for Playing Tennis Safely
Though it is good to remain active and sporty as it maintains goods physical and mental health. But remember, this should not be done at the cost of your health. If you consider yourself a healthy adult with no underlining disease conditions, then playing tennis will be a good remedy for you.
While playing tennis, an elderly tennis player must take extra care of himself and should be well aware of his limits. Ike, if you are susceptible to back pain, then avoid bending unnecessarily.
Also, do not play vigorously soon in the starts. Give yourself proper time to warm up and the same goes for a cool down.
Proper warm-up and cool down will prevent different musculoskeletal injuries.
I would suggest using a fitness tracker during play, that will monitor heart rate and your physical activity.
Also, if your older player is starting tennis after a long break, then it is advisable to take adequate breaks so that their body will not be fatigued.
Make them properly hydrated. As staying hydrated will avoid loss of necessary electrolytes. Since tennis is an outdoor sport that is usually played in summer. So make sure to keep them hydrated during the game, as dehydration can be risky for old people.
Restrict senior people to play on the wet court. Remember, they are not Rafael Nadal; they are the person who is moving towards senescence where injuries take a longer time to heal.
If you still want to know, is tennis a good sport for seniors?
My answer would be a big YESSSS.
Tennis is a great sport for physical and mental fitness, especially for a senior. On the other hand “Soft Tennis” is also a reasonable option for the elder players and also for females and kids.
Soft tennis racquets are lightweight which helps them to use them easily without applying extra power in handling tennis properly and no need of using tennis racquet vibration dampeners.
It keeps your body fit and strong and makes you handle stress in a better way. One can write a book on the benefits of playing tennis for seniors, as there are numerous benefits.
So start playing tennis and feel the change in yourself.