By Darren Woodford – USPTA Elite Professional and Instructor
We are living a moment in history unlike any time that we have experienced before.
The Covid-19 Pandemic has reshaped how we work, how we socialize, and even how we exercise. With most gyms being locked down, the way that many Americans get physical activity has changed. However, with the obstacles that were presented, there have also been opportunities to grow and adapt in new ways. As such, if you have never picked up a tennis racquet before, allow me to explain why now is the perfect time to learn to play tennis.
An ancillary effect the Covid-19 Pandemic has been the detrimental impact on many individuals’ mental health. The lockdowns have made people feel lonely and exacerbated anxiety and depression. One of the most helpful ways to combat these issues is exercise. Tennis improves cardiovascular health, strength, and coordination. It is a full body workout and the best part is that it is fun. You simply get to “play” tennis and you get all of the benefits of a hard workout without even realizing that you are exercising.
Furthermore, to prevent the transmission of the Covid-19 virus, health authorities have repeatedly stressed the idea of social distance. If you were having trouble finding an activity during which you could maintain social distancing recommendations, look no further. Tennis has social distance built into its foundation. You are literally seventy-eight feet away from the person that you are playing.
Boredom and Your Brain:
During this Pandemic, many sources of mental stimulation have been restricted. We are no longer able to take certain classes, explore new places, or converse with new people. As humans, it is important for our brain to always learn and to be challenged. As fun as it is to watch Netflix, you can only rewatch The Office so many times. Learning a new physical skill, like tennis, can provide that extra catalyst for growth that your brain requires. Tennis requires the coordination of all of your limbs in elegant and complex motor patterns. When you are learning to play tennis, your synapses will be firing like never before. Moreover, there is the strategic element to the game. While you are trying to outmaneuver your opponent, your brain will actively search for new patterns and make new connections. Long story short, learning to play tennis is an excellent cure, for the boredom that many Americans have felt during the Pandemic, and it is great for your brain.