Good LIVES MAGAZINE “Tennis is such a great sport to play for life.” the 85s category, alongside his daughter who plays in the 55s and sister, who plays in the 75s. Kevin, who lives in an ACH Group unit at Walkerville, keeps up his fitness at the gym and pool and enjoys weekly coaching sessions.
“I’ve always enjoyed tennis; you can pick it up where you left off,” he says. “I might have a bit of trouble getting to the ball, but I haven’t given up yet.” Tennis SA CEO Steve Baldas says unlike many other established sports, tennis has a high retention of older players.
Why tennis? According to Tennis Australia, tennis is a vigorous form of exercise and associated with a reduced risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke and some cancers. It says tennis can help people to lose weight and increases metabolism and muscle mass.
Playing singles for one hour can burn around 600 calories in men and 420 calories in women – that’s as much as a spin class or weights session.
A 2016 study published in the British Medical Journal found playing tennis reduced the risk of death from cardiovascular disease by 47 percent.
Tennis Australia says tennis strengthens tendons and ligaments in the body. Compared with other sports, tennis is associated with a lower risk of injury.
REDUCE BODY FAT
Recreational players aged between 23 and 69 years old who play twice a week carry almost four percent less body fat than non-tennis players.
Because tennis improves coordination and balance, it can reduce the risk of falls in older people. Source: tennis.com. au/learn/benefits/ physical-benefits
In 2018, Tennis SA had nearly 2,500 registered players aged over 50. “Of these, 1,332 are male and the remaining 1,142 (47 percent) are female,” he says. “To see such healthy numbers in tennis for all over 50s is wonderful, as is such strong numbers in women over 50.”