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Stressed? Play Tennis 04/17/2009 - 4:56 PM

Rafasmall Did you know that April is stress awareness month? I didn’t either. But apparently it has been for the past 17 years. This year, though, I would say the 30-day recognition of emotional strain is more justified than most. These are uncertain times, and with job security to worry about, free-falling savings balances, and the fact that even our banks are currently undergoing stress tests, anxiety levels are soaring. It would almost be better if April had 31 days.

A recent New York Times article offers some insight into the collective mind-set of Americans right now. A couple of tidbits: In a September American Psychological Association poll, significant economy-related stress was up 14 percent from the previous April. And the National Sleep Foundation found that 27 percent of people polled in the fall of 2008 had trouble sleeping because of anxiety related to the economy.

Sponsored by the Health Resource Network, a health education nonprofit, stress awareness month is dedicated to disseminating educational information about the affliction. Stress can definitely take a toll on your health, causing things like headaches, stomach issues, insomnia and depression. It can also lead to weight gain or loss depending on how your appetite sways when you’re under pressure.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has started a website to help people sort through stress related to the economy. Under “Managing Stress” it recommends “strengthening connections with family and friends” and “engaging in activities such as physical exercise, sports or hobbies.”

This is where your tennis comes in. When you’re worried about financials, hitting the court may be the last thing on your to-do list. But you should give it higher priority. Physical exertion can significantly reduce stress, making you better able to deal with your problems. And while doing something like going on a run can relax you, I think the release of whacking a tennis ball is an even better stress-reliever. 

The fact that tennis is a social sport is also great for your health. In times where it’s every man for himself when it comes to financial stability, socializing on a court can help you balance the bad with some good.

So take some time be aware of your stress this month, and to play some tennis.


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Posted by Jorge martínez 04/17/2009 at 05:51 PM

Wow lol

Posted by Prince of Tennis 04/17/2009 at 06:31 PM't know that...

Posted by Juan Marco 04/17/2009 at 09:05 PM

Tennis is the best sport to get physically (and mentally) fit period.
Simply the best sport to play.

Posted by rawr 04/18/2009 at 03:49 AM

unless of course you're getting even more stressed while playing eg constant unforced errors

Posted by turkmen sehram 04/18/2009 at 04:11 AM

only rafa nadal

Posted by rog 04/18/2009 at 09:58 AM

Often times tennis is a stress inducer...actually almost all the time. Stress resulting from tennis, the need to win matches, is the worrsstt.

Posted by tom 04/18/2009 at 10:00 AM

why are some people here at like 330 am?

Posted by Prince of Tennis 04/18/2009 at 11:36 AM

Some might be from other countries.

Posted by StockMonster 04/18/2009 at 04:30 PM

Tennis is what you make of it. It does not have to be stressful as some would suggest. If you focus and clear your mind and not fixate on poor shots or poor overall performance it relieves stress and performance improves.

Posted by david 04/18/2009 at 08:05 PM

tennis is the best sport ever! other sports can release stress too, but theres a special passion that comes with being a tennis lover that makes it the best!

Posted by Candace S. 04/18/2009 at 08:39 PM

Rafa looks good in blue. I have found that tennis definitely works well at getting rid of stress for me. I looooooove it!
Rafa is King.

Posted by jane 04/19/2009 at 03:33 AM

i love tennis and i love rafa sooooooo much...

Posted by Rafael 04/19/2009 at 07:56 AM

Oh, I can see that you have my picture.
Yes, we players are often stressed. You cannot imagine how stressed I was in Wimbledon 08. But in the 4th set I relaxed. But tennis is a great sport for stressed people, no?

Posted by Jacob 04/19/2009 at 09:46 AM

didn't know that. this is a good reason to get friends on the court today.

Posted by vignesh 04/19/2009 at 12:35 PM

wowwwwww...... wonderful

Posted by sam 04/19/2009 at 11:48 PM

Um, I don't know about you guys.. When I play in tournaments and stuff, I get MORE STRESSED..

Posted by agasi 04/20/2009 at 05:06 PM


Posted by hmm 04/20/2009 at 05:39 PM

unless your name's federer? haha.

Posted by Roger Federer 04/20/2009 at 07:33 PM

Rafa constantly pulling his underwear before a serve is annoying...get a new pair ...for god sake..i let u win that u can get a decent pair of panties !!

Posted by jp2506 04/20/2009 at 09:51 PM Air Force 25

Posted by sam 04/23/2009 at 03:07 PM

Tennis does induce stress but its good stress.

Posted by Athletic Shirts Fitnesswear 05/22/2009 at 02:50 PM

This is the truth. I've been working out now for about 2 years (religiously) and only now have I recently discovered the hidden stress busting benefits of tennis. It's unreal how wacking the crap out of that little ball and having a challenging volley can really leave you feeling extremely at peace after the whole ordeal. Great Article!

Posted by transfer factor plus 12/20/2009 at 01:02 AM

If wacking a little green ball can help eliminate some of my stress then I'm all for it. I'm pretty sure that any physical exertion above and beyond my normal levels is probably going to be personally helpful as long as I don't directly hurt anyone else.

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