Fitness Feature: Tennis

Posted on May 24 2017 - 10:20am by Samantha Clark
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The news is abuzz with sporting events and one event we’ll be hearing a lot more about soon is Wimbledon. Wimbledon, which takes place on Monday 3rd of July until Saturday 16th of July, is home to the oldest tennis tournament in the world. Founded in the late 1800s, Wimbledon is also regarding as the most prestigious event, with royalty and celebrities alike flanking the stadium to watch the gripping sport that has been enjoyed by many for generations.

Although not a sport that can be played singularly, it is one that can be enjoyed leisurely. Whether as singles or doubles, it’s a great sport to enjoy with your partner or as a new activity for couples. It can be friendly or competitive. Light fun to catch up over or serious (do we have a Monica in our midst?). Plus, there is something so British about it- the scenery, the act of being outdoors, the clothing! And knowing that it is a sport that will trigger a full body workout is just an added bonus.

Speaking of health benefits: Tennis is a vigorous, aerobic based sport which means you only need to play just over an hour, (combined with 2 strength days) a week to meet your physical activity recommendations; so if you feel like you’re pressed for time, it’s another great reason to take up tennis- you can combine socialising with exercising and get the majority of your weekly requirement in one session!

Being an aerobic exercise, this is an exceptionally good sport to build up a health heart as it challenges your heart rate, works on cholesterol and helps reduce blood pressure. In addition, aerobic exercise promotes healthy lungs, giving them a rigorous workout,  and strengthens muscles. More generally? It can help build confidence and develop brain function in coordination and challenge your tactical thought processes which all in all can help with preventing dementia.

Give it a try:

Not really played before, want to try out your local club, see if you can make it a family activity? Club Spark are promoting family open days at your local clubs to see what you think. They’re also offering up free 6 week tennis lessons for children to encourage them to get involved in the sport.

If you’re looking for your local court, LTA British Tennis have a search facility which is brilliant. Enter your postcode and find your local courts in seconds. You can search by Nearest, Free, Pay and Play and where your local Members clubs are- everything you need to know at the touch of your tips.

Want to improve your game?

  • To learn the basics and learn a few techniques, check out this wikiHow
  • Youtube is always great for this kind of thing, check out the video from Jeff Salzehstein
  • Andy Murray’s coach shared his tips with Harper’s Bazaar

Kit

The super cute sports kits is just another great reason to get on board with this sport:

When it comes to clothing there are three things you need to consider: What weather am I playing in, can I move freely and what court am I playing on.

Being a primarily outdoor sport- you may need a variety of pieces to make it suitable to play year round. In the summer you want lightweight, sun reflective clothing and in the Winter you’ll want long sleeved tops and probably trousers.

Key to playing tennis is the ability to move freely and feel comfortable. This is why a lot of women opt for skirts, shorts or dresses when playing tennis. If you’d prefer to cover your legs, sports leggings is a great alternative.

There are many different types of tennis courts and to play your best, you’ll need a shoe appropriate for the ground you play on. Asics have a great guide to point you in the right direction on this.

As for choosing a racket, tennisnuts can offer some excellent guidance on this, including how to measure your grip size.

tennis kit

Racket

Tennis balls

Tennis Shoes

Water bottle

Bra

Visor

Hoody

Top

Leggings

Dress

Tennis Skirt

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