Bayview Village Tennis Camp (www.BayviewVillageTennisCamp.ca), the Greater Toronto Area’s leading provider of first-class tennis camps and clinics for players of all ages and skill levels, is commenting on new research that suggests sports like tennis can have major health benefits for teenage boys.
A new study has found that teenage boys who participate in high-impact physical activities have greater bone density later in life. Sports like tennis help maintain bone density in the hips and lumbar spines area for males once they read middle age. This then reduces the risk of diseases like osteoporosis. (Source: Dallas, M.E., “High-Impact Exercise Strengthens Men’s Bones,” WebMD, February 22, 2016; http://www.webmd.com/men/news/20160222/high-impact-exercise-strengthens-mens-bones-researchers-say.)
“We know exercise is good for our health, but there’s lots of research suggesting that different types of exercise have very different types of benefits,” says Peter Nielson, director at Bayview Village Tennis Camp. “In this case, they’ve found that high-impact sports, like tennis, seem to have specific benefits for teenagers that other sports may not.”
The researchers found that there was a positive association between high-impact activities and bone health. They involve pounding actions, which can cause stress on joints and the spine. High-impact sports include tennis, jogging, squash, and rugby.
“What this suggests is that a little bit of stress actually benefits you in the long run,” says Nielson. “There has been concern that activities like jogging can be harsh on the spine, but that doesn’t seem to be true as long as you don’t overdo it. Exercise itself is a form of stress on your body, and we know that it’s good for overall health.”
While the researchers found particular benefits for teenage boys, there was a benefit for bone health even in middle-aged men who took up high-impact sports. Osteoporosis is considered a serious risk for older men, who can end up dying from fractures sustained in falls and other accidents.
“It’s never too late to take control of your health,” notes Nielson. “But the earlier you can do it, the better. It’s a good idea for parents to start taking steps to have their kids participate in these kinds of activities to ensure they’re healthy later in life.”
The study only looked at male participants, and it is unknown if high-impact sports would have the same benefits for women. However, osteoporosis is usually considered a higher health risk for post-menopausal women, which means that bone health may be even more crucial for them.
“Tennis is one of the sports that are popular with girls, so it would be good to see if it has the same benefits for them,” reflects Nielson. “That being said, hopefully the results of this study will convince some teenage boys to put down the soccer ball and pick up a tennis racquet instead. It’s a fun game for boys and girls.”
If there’s one takeaway from the study, Nielson says it should be that it’s important for teenagers to stay active. Getting into sports while still young can end up having a big positive impact on health later in life.
“It’s really important that parents encourage their kids to stay active,” says Nielson. “Whether it’s casually with friends, on an intramural league, or at a summer camp, kids should be playing sports to stay healthy. If you can get them playing when they are young, you can get them loving the game for life.”
Bayview Village Tennis Camp is the top tennis camp in the GTA. Its Tennis Canada-certified instructors work to teach kids not only how to have fun with tennis, but also how to play smartly and safely. More information about the junior and advanced summer tennis programs can be found at www.BayviewVillageTennisCamp.ca.
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