Tennis burns fat, builds muscle and bone strength, improves fine and gross motor skills, increases cardiovascular fitness and helps enable your body to sustain higher levels of energy. Tennis, according to a 2005 Consumer Reports issue, burns more calories than hiking, golf, rowing and swimming.
The exact number of calories you'll burn during a two-hour singles tennis game depends on your current weight, gender and the amount of intensity you put into your match play. The American Dietetic Association estimates recreational players can burn 600 to 1,320 calories per two-hour singles sessions while competitive players can burn between 768 to 1,728 calories.
Power Up Your Match
Between points, players only rest 25 seconds. During changeovers, there is a 90-second rest period. Keep your feet moving during this time. Run or jog to retrieve balls between your points. During the 90-second changeover, jog in place, do squats or other calisthenic type exercises.
Carb Up For Staying Power
Consuming approximately 100 g of foods like whole grains, fruits and vegetables 30 minutes prior to match time increases performance levels toward the end of long matches. Eat 50 g every two hours of on-court play. Figure 2.7 g per pound of your body weight. Protein needs equate to .55 to .8 g per pound of your body weight.
Don't let the lack of an opponent stop you from reaching your fitness and caloric goals. Participate in drop-in drills, rent a ball machine, take a private lesson or hit against a backboard to burn calories, tone muscles and keep your tennis strokes in shape. All of these tennis workouts burn more than 400 calories per hour. The more you put into the class or backboard session, the more calories you'll burn. Or sign up for a cardio-tennis class where, on average, women burn 300 to 500 calories and men burn between 500 to 1,000 per hour.