9 Benefits of Playing Tennis

woamn playing tennisMany folks are still not able to go into a gym, so we need to search for alternative ways to exercise. If you are wanting to do something other than using your home gym, running, biking or swimming, have you considered playing tennis? Here’s why you should pick up a racket today:

  • Availability – Tennis courts are readily available in most parts of the United States, as well as over parts of the world. If you don’t have courts in your neighborhood, you will likely find them in a local park.
  • Inexpensive– If you play at a neighborhood or city park, you will likely not a fee. Your only costs are a racket, tennis balls, and the time is takes for you to get to the court.
  • Play the game at any age – Tennis is a wonderful game at any age. It can also be easily learned at any age. Don’t let the fact that you’ve never played stop you from starting. Plus, if you have never played, you will likely find a partner who will happily “show you the ropes” on how to get started.
  • Social Distance – The nature of the game creates distance between you and your opponent, thus alleviating the concern of being too close and potentially spreading pathogens.

Those are the reasons why to pick up a racket, today. What are some of the benefits of playing tennis?

  1. Full body workout: Your lower and upper body are in constant motion
  2. Improved aerobic and anaerobic health: Get your heart rate up, increase your oxygen intake, and your body will begin to build a better cardio system, as well as more efficient muscles.
  3. Burns calories and fat: Playing tennis can burn between 400-600 calories an hour. For a comparison, I walked 3.5 miles, it took me an hour and 10 minutes, and I burned 390 calories. I could have burned more in less time.
  4. Improves bone health: I recently wrote about how exercise improves bone health, and since tennis is an overall body work out, it would obviously benefit bones through your body.
  5. Heart healthy: This one is self-explanatory; if you consistently raise your heart rate, you will build a stronger cardio system.
  6. Enhances flexibility, balance and coordination: Eye hand coordination is critical in tennis. You can develop your coordination, which will in tun develop your balance, which is an important thing to maintain as we age. And because the game entails movement, reaching, and stretching, your flexibility improves, which also helps you prevent injuries.
  7. Boosts brain power: Tennis requires you “to think on your feet”, make adjustments in split seconds, to develop strategies and ever-changing tactics. studies show that exercises that require a lot of thinking can improve brain function in ways that aid memory, learning, social skills, and behavior.
  8. Is great cross-training for other sports: The short speed burst associated with tennis translates well into cross training for other sports and a thus speed up your pace and endurance.
  9. Boosts mood: Exercise has been shown to improve your mental health, alleviating anxiety and depression, while improving self-esteem and optimism.

I hope this inspires you to pick up a racket and start playing. Let us know if you are regularly playing tennis and grab a partner to play a match with you.

And if you enjoyed this post, please leave a message below and subscribe to this site. We look forward to seeing you again soon.

And a shout out to the folk at Health Fitness Revolutions for these ideas.

#fitness #tennis #exercise #cardio #strongboones #workout #socialdistance #crosstraining #mentalhealth #calories #fat #aerobic #anaerobic #flexibility #wide-body

4 Squats You Can Do At Home

Because most of us are still unable to attend go to a gym, I’m continuing a series of posts dedicated to exercises you can do at home.

Squats are some of the simplest and best exercises you can do for your lower body. Squats can essentially be completed anywhere, involve a very natural range of motion, and have the benefit of providing you with resistance training (building lean muscle), burning large amounts of calories because you are using large muscle groups (quads and glutes) and continue development of stabilizing muscles which allow us to maintain balance (critically important as we age).

Where to start:

Basic Squat: The Basic Squat is a great place to get started. Your goal is to complete 10-15 repetitions, 3 sets of repetitions, 3 times a week.

via Gfycat

  • Plant your feet about shoulder width apart.
  • Bend your knees as if lowering yourself to the floor. Stop when your thighs are parallel to the floor
  • Push back up to a standing position, focus your attention on how you are using your quadriceps and glutes through the range of motions.

TIP #1 – For stability, you may find it helpful to hold your arms together in front of your torso as you squat. For added motion and calorie burn, lift your arms in front of you as you squat down.
TIP #2– Weightlifters are taught to look up as they squat. This prevents the lifter from curving their back and causing injury. As you squat down, find a spot high on the wall and focus on that as you exercise. This will keep the pressure on your legs where it is needed, and prevent you from bending forward, straining your back.
TIP #3– Squatting past a position where your thighs are parallel to the floor can put too much pressure on your knees. So, don’t feel the need to squat all the floor.

Are you feeling like you want an additional challenge? Try some of these moves.

Curtsey Squat: Said to target the glutes, the curtsey squat adds a new layer of complexity as you now move your feet as opposed to the basic squat where you were planted.

via Gfycat

  • Stand with your feet at shoulder-width, like the basic squat.
  • Step your right foot behind your left leg, and squat down, bringing your left thigh into a position parallel to the floor.
  • Step back up to the starting position, and then do the same motion but with the other leg.
  • Do at least 10 repetitions per leg and build from there.

Split Squat: I happen to like this exercise as for me it really works an inner quad muscle which then keeps my muscle development in balance.

via Gfycat

  • Start in a staggered position, arms on your sides
  • Bend your front leg until the front leg is parallel to the floor.
  • Keep your torso straight up
  • Stand back up to the original position
  • Complete 10 repetitions per leg

Tip #1- When these feels easy, grab some dumbbells and add some additional weight to your exercise.
Tip #2- While this motion is similar to a lunge, in this case, you will work one leg at a time before changing positions to the other leg.

Goblet Squat: Think of the basic squat, but now with added weight

via Gfycat

  • Plant your feet in a similar way to the basic squat.
  • Hold a dumbbell to your chest, keeping your back straight
  • Squat!

Tip #1- With the added weight, you may find yourself leaning forward. Keep your head and eyes up, and this will help keep your back straight. The goal is to put pressure on your legs, NOT your back.
Shout out and appreciation to the folks at Healthline for the gifs that were added to this post. https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/how-many-squats-should-i-do-a-day#basic-squat

Feature Photo by Anthony Shkraba from Pexels

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Now get out there, mix it up, and get a little sweaty because you are going to feel great after you do.