Exercise: Health Benefits Of Racquet Sports

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While racquet sports might conjure up images of exclusive country clubs or unattainable athleticism as displayed by the Williams sisters, the truth is that racquet sports and their benefits are quite accessible to the masses.

Benefits of Racquet Sports

Many gyms have squash or racquetball courts that only require a membership to enjoy. Tennis courts can be found near community centers or public parks. And ping pong tables frequently pop up in bars and game rooms across the country. So almost anyone, anywhere can grab a racquet or paddle and play. Racquet sports are a surefire way to improve one's fitness and overall physical health. Running around the tennis/racquetball court greatly increases one's aerobic activityãimproving heart health and resulting in lower body fat percentages, which provide a myriad of health benefits. Swinging the racquet improves upper body strength while lateral movements help condition the lower body. Racquet sports improve reaction times and require one to move in multiple planes of motionãwhich can aid in overall coordination and balance. In fact, due to racquet sports' association with improved coordination and balance, they are linked with reducing risk of accidental falls later in life. And the high-impact nature of many racquet sports helps improve bone densityãespecially important for everyone as they get older. Racquet sports' benefits extend far beyond physical fitness. Since racquet sports are usually played with a partner or multiple partners, there are many social benefits to playing them. In fact, exercising with friends is a great motivator for sticking to fitness goals. Racquet sports also help improve cognitive functioning as one must constantly adjust and adapt reactions based on ball placement, velocity and opponent positioning. A regular fitness regimen that includes racquet sports can help keep one healthy for years to come. So, how savvy are you on the health benefits of racquet sports? Take this Health IQ quiz to find out!