It’s very fitting that we talk about adding tennis to your fitness repertoire this week. Serena Williams has won her 6th Wimbledon title and 21st major this week. She is on her way to a calendar Grand Slam. Between her and her sister, Venus, they have dominated the tennis world for nearly a decade. Tennis is a great work out. If you’re looking to spice up your exercise routine, it’s something to consider. Don’t worry about reaching Williams sister status, just get out and enjoy the day. This is all about trying new things for new results.
How To Get Started Playing Tennis
It’s never too late to try something new. Tennis may seem difficult to start playing later in life, but much like anything you can learn it. The best way to get started is taking lessons. You need to understand the basic form and rules. Of course you can try the local country club for lessons but a much more affordable option may be the YMCA or public tennis courts through your parks and recreation organization. Though private one-on-one lessons may be the fastest way to learn, group classes are more economical. It just depends on what you’re willing to spend to pick up the sport.
What You Need to Get Started
Of course you’ll need a racket. It’s best to get to the first lesson before buying a racket so you know exactly what you need. The racket acts as an extension of your arm so it’s going to need to be the right weight and grip. Most important is to get the proper shoes. You know those shoes you go running in? Yeah, not those. You need athletic shoes that are designed for the side-to-side and quick movements of tennis. You will need actual tennis shoes to prevent your ankle from rolling. Any athletic clothing will do, preferably sweat-wicking. We know Serena has some fantastic outfits for playing, but until you know you want to play more seriously a t-shirt and shorts will do the trick. Also a headband and/or visor to capture the sweat and keep the sun out of your eyes. Wrist bands keeps the sweat from running down your hands and getting your racket wet. The United States Tennis Association (USTA) has some great resources for adult learners.
The Benefits of Tennis
It’s more fun if you do it with someone. Enlist a friend or co-worker to try the sport with you. Engage in a little competition if it helps. Tennis is great for the cardiovascular system, build muscle strength, agility and acuity. It will also strengthen your bones because it is a weight-bearing exercise. This is a total workout. Be warned though if you have knee or back problems it may be a bit high impact for you.
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