Regular physical activity is commonly used as a therapeutic intervention with type 2 diabetes and
the metabolic syndrome. However, the success rates can be limited by a lack of willingness and
unreliability of the patient in adhering to the sport program offered.
Suitable sports activities include those requiring general aerobic endurance with sub maximal
intensity (e.g. 50-65% maximum heart rate with an exercise period of more than 20-30 minutes).
Activities such as walking, jogging, swimming and cycling are all advantageous. However, many
people find these activities repetitive, technically- or organisationally-demanding or physically
strenuous, and are thus given up after a short period.
Positive Health Benefits on Diabetes from Playing Tennis
The positive health effects on diabetes when regularly playing tennis can be summarised as follows:
• Reduction of insulin hyper secretion and improvement of insulin sensitivity (particularly
important for type 2 diabetics)
• Decrease of simultaneously existing risk factors such as obesity, fat metabolism
disturbances and hypertension, which in combination contribute to the overall picture of
metabolic syndrome. This also has a significant preventive effect regarding threatening
macro- and microangiopathy, which often end fatally
• Strengthening of the immune system, which is often weakened by diabetes, thus reducing
the incidence of infection
• Improvement of the general physical performance capability, particularly with regards to
endurance and start-up speed
• Cultivation of contacts on the social and sporting level with partners of similar motivation
and the same disease
~ International Tennis Federation