Over the past few months, I have been fortunate enough to attend several tennis industry events that discussed a wide variety of topics. The most shocking topic that continues to come up over and over (and not just in tennis) is how inactive the upcoming generations are overall. As parents, industry professionals, and beyond, we all most challenge ourselves to do our part to change this trend of inactivity. Here are a few items that were shared with the attendees:
- The generation that is coming up behind us is the first generation predicted to live five years less than their parents.
- Physical inactivity is number four on the list of causes of death (more than smoking).
- Less than 25% of kids ages six to 12 are active three or more times a week.
- 48% of all high schools have no PE.
- In 1990, not a single state had over 10% obesity.
- People who exercise regularly have a 40% lower risk of Alzheimers.
- 150 minutes of exercise is really all that one needs per week.
Now, the items listed above are certainly interesting and, personally, they really hit home, not only as an industry person, but also as a parent.
Over the months that I have written articles, I have occasionally pushed the sport of tennis and, guess what, based on the above statistics, I am once again going to do so. This time the approach is simple: We need to change the trend of inactivity in America, and tennis is a great way to do it.
Below you will see the top 10 reasons to play tennis that were shared with us, and I think all of you can see how they assist with changing the trends.
- 1. Get fit and lose weight. An hour of singles play can burn 580-870 calories.
2. Live longer. Playing just three hours per week will reduce your risk of heart disease by 56%.
3. Strengthen your heart, muscles, and bones. Compared to participants in other sports, tennis players have the lowest incidence of cardiovascular disease.
4. Develop hand-eye coordination. Playing tennis involves several skills that contribute to good hand-eye coordination. You can improve your agility, balance, coordination, reaction time, and more.
5. Reduce stress. Tennis helps you deal with physical, mental, social, and emotional challenges, which increases your capacity to deal with stress.
6. Increase brain power. From alertness to tactical thinking, tennis enhances the neural connections in your brain. Kids who play tennis regularly get better grades.
7. Learn to solve problems. Tennis is a sport that is based on evaluating angles, geometry, and physics to get the best results, which translates into better problem-solving off the court.
8. Enjoy family and friends. Tennis is great for the whole family no matter what the age. With minimal equipment needed and plenty of courts nearby, it’s easy to bring a friend or find one at the courts.
9. Develop teamwork and sportsmanship. From doubles play to team and league play, tennis develops your ability to communicate and work together.
10. Improve social skills. Tennis outperforms all other sports in developing positive personality characteristics.
We all need to do our part to encourage our society to get more active once again. Parents and children alike, I challenge you all to contact one of the local tennis facilities in the area and give tennis a try. Doctors, I challenge you to potentially prescribe tennis as a healthy exercise. We can do this, and we truly have a sport right in front of us that addresses all that needs to be addressed to help change the trend. Let’s do this together!❦