Tennis is a high-impact, intense aerobic activity. As you run and return the ball you are burning calories, which can be beneficial for your health and weight-loss efforts. You might wonder how many calories you are burning and if you are burning enough calories to consider a game of tennis effective for your fitness goals.
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Understanding how many calories you are burning during an hour of tennis can help you stay on track with your fitness goals. For every 3,500 calories that you burn you can lose 1 lb. of weight. Knowing this can be especially helpful if you are trying to lose weight, gain weight or maintain your current weight. Healthy weight loss occurs at a rate of 1 to 2 lbs. per week. By burning 500 to 1,000 calories a day you can meet this mark. You can use the number of calories you burn during an hour of tennis combined with your other activities to meet a specific goal for each day.
Your calorie-burning potential will be very specific to you and your weight. The good news if you are overweight is that you will burn more calories during an hour of tennis than someone who weighs less than you do. According to HealthStatus, a 150-lb. person can burn approximately 288 calories in an hour of doubles tennis and 414 calories in an hour of singles tennis. While a 190-lb. person can burn 365 calories in an hour of doubles tennis and 524 calories in an hour of singles tennis.
Tennis is an interactive and fun way to be physically active. You can play against another person or you can play in teams of two, also known as doubles. Because you have to react quickly to your opponent, tennis helps to improve your agility and reaction time. You also engage your whole body for a muscle-toning workout. As you run, lunge and hit the ball you are able to strengthen your legs, glutes, abs, shoulders, arms, back and chest muscles. Playing tennis can also help improve your cardiovascular endurance and make it easier for you to engage in other aerobic activities without getting tired as quickly.
Finding other aerobic activities can help make your fitness program interesting and versatile. Variety in a fitness program helps combat boredom to keep you motivated and also helps to prevent your body from hitting a plateau. The American Council on Exercise recommends basketball, cycling, dancing, running, skiing, swimming, walking and weight training. These activities help burn a high rate of calories per minute for maximum fat burning.