Running, swinging, reaching, pivoting -- tennis can be a real workout with the right opponent. It's a whole-body sport, and you can burn a lot of calories because you're constantly on the move. In fact, for many people, playing tennis can actually burn more calories than other popular types of physical activity, including leisurely cycling, weight lifting, golfing, dancing or playing volleyball [source: Mayo Clinic Staff]. As a result, playing tennis regularly has been shown to help reduce body fat [source: Buschbacher].
To lose a pound of fat, you need to burn approximately an extra 3,500 calories. If playing singles tennis for one hour burns about 600 calories for a man and 420 calories for a woman, playing about three to four hours of tennis each week could help you lose around half a pound a week. That's not bad for a recreational sport that's both fun and can be played by just about anyone.
Want to learn more about fun, engaging ways to get active? The links on the next page are a good start.