The physical health benefits of playing tennis are well documented, and even well proven through scientific study. The benefits, though, are not just physical; there are psychological and emotional benefits too. Because tennis is a fast-paced sport relying on geometry and physics it stimulates the brain and improves tactile functioning, even to the point of creating new pathways between neurons. Additionally, a much referenced study from Southern Connecticut State University showed that tennis players scored higher in self-esteem, vigor, and optimism, yet scored lower for factors such as confusion, tension, anxiety, and depression. Other examples of non-physical benefits include include accommodating stress effectively, learning to solve problems, social development and teamwork, managing mistakes and adversity, and learning to compete well. To get the most out of your sport the sessions need to be moderately vigorous 1-hour games of tennis at least 3 times per week. This gives the body, mind, and spirit the workout it needs to optimize healthy patterns. The sessions can be solo (e.g. hitting the ball against a wall or pitching machine), singles matches, or doubles matches; though, there is some precedent for playing with other people in order to get the most psychological, emotional, and social gains out of your time. Playing tennis can be a beneficial part of an overall healthy lifestyle. Be sure to consult with your health care expert about your ability to exercise in this way, and mention any pre-existing injuries or conditions of which you may be aware. And to enjoy the other, non-physical benefits to tennis be sure to let yourself have fun!
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