Why Tennis is the Perfect Source of Vitamin D
Throughout this pandemic, the fact that tennis is an ideal “social distancing” sport has been high on our gratitude list!
Plus, it’s an ace for stress relief, which boosts your mood and keeps your heart healthy. These benefits have been great for instilling a greater sense of wellbeing during this difficult year. Now, there’s yet another reason to get excited about the game — the incredible access it offers to “the sunshine vitamin,” aka Vitamin D.
“As COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on our nation, doctors and researchers have looked for ways to help boost our body’s ability to protect itself,” shared CA Licensed Nutritionist/Personal Trainer Bonnie Pace. “One nutrient has stood out in the science research and reviews, and that is Vitamin D.”
Read on to learn about why Vitamin D is so important…and how outdoor tennis can help you get your fill!
Vitamin D & COVID-19
Early on in the pandemic, when looking for links between people hospitalized with COVID-19, it was shown that Vitamin D deficiency was a marker in those who were most ill and had a higher rate of mortality (as many as 80% of patients had this deficiency).
According to Pace, this is both bad news and good news. As a nation, we are chronically Vitamin D deficient. A study from 2011 found that over 40% of adults in the U.S. are deficient. People with darker skin are at even higher risk, with black Americans at 82% and Hispanic Americans at 69% deficient. The good news is that we have the ability to overcome these staggering statistics.
“The main way we absorb Vitamin D is through our skin. This has become a challenge in the past decade as we have spent less time outdoors and we have (for good reason) used sunscreen as a health standard,” said Pace. “Spending time out in the fresh air and sunlight is one of the best ways to get Vitamin D into your system.”
Another way to raise your levels of Vitamin D are by consuming foods that are good sources. Some Vitamin D rich foods include fish such as salmon, mackerel and herring, liver, egg yolks and fortified foods such as breakfast cereals. The NIH puts together a wealth of information on nutrients in foods and you can read about Vitamin D here.
The benefits of Vitamin D go beyond potentially protecting yourself from the worst effects of COVID-19. A study published just this month found that Vitamin D can also reduce the mortality rate of cancer. Other studies have shown that Vitamin D can decrease the chance of developing heart disease.
As an article on Healthline.com explains:
“Vitamin D regulates the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, and facilitates normal immune system function. Getting a sufficient amount of vitamin D is important for normal growth and development of bones and teeth, as well as improved resistance against certain diseases.”
Outdoor Tennis is a Great Source of Vitamin D
Like Pace mentioned before, time spent getting fresh air and sunlight is one of the best sources of this all-important nutrient.
Playing tennis means you’ll not only be increasing your Vitamin D levels, but you’ll also be enjoying all of the other great benefits this sport has to offer, such as:
- Improved aerobic and anaerobic fitness
- Strengthened muscles in your lower body, upper body and core
- Enhanced metabolic function
- Greater stamina
- Increase in bone density
- Strengthened immune system
- Decreased body fat
- Lower resting heart rate and blood pressure
- Improved balance, coordination, flexibility, agility and speed
Get your Game on with CA
By now, it’s clear that playing a little tennis is a uniquely fun way to get your fill of Vitamin D. At CA, we have over two dozen outdoor courts for both members and non-members to enjoy. We also offer a wide variety of programs and lessons for all ages and levels of tennis experience.