The world’s top women tennis stars come to Brum this month – the perfect excuse to step on the court yourself this summer!
The Rothesay Classic Birmingham returns to the Edgbaston Priory Club this month – and this year marks the 40th anniversary of the top tournament hosted by one of the world’s oldest tennis clubs. The return of the world’s top women tennis stars to Brum is the perfect motivation for the rest of us to step onto the courts too. It’s fun and an awesome way to stay fit and healthy.
Tennis is a great sport to improve all-round health regardless of your ability – experts say it is twice as good for your well-being as cycling, aerobics or swimming. Playing tennis increases aerobic capacities, lowers resting heart rate and blood pressure, boosts metabolic function, increases bone density, lowers body fat, improves muscle tone, strength and flexibility and increases reaction times.
So, playing tennis is just brilliant for body and soul. And here’s some more reasons why…
- The movements used in tennis give the body a great workout, toning and shaping muscles you never knew you had.
- You use your lower body for all that running, stopping and starting, jumping and crouching. And the action of hitting the tennis ball, whether it’s single or double-handed, means that your trunk does a lot of work as well, in particular your shoulders and upper back.
- Singles tennis can burn between 400-600 calories an hour. That’s not bad for a recreational sport that’s both fun and can be played by just about anyone. Playing tennis also has a positive impact on your bones. Exercising regularly can increase your peak bone mass and can slow the rate of bone mass loss over time.
- According to research, bone mass peaks around age 30 and begins to decline after that. You can maximize your bone mass prior to that age through exercise and continuing to exercise after 30 can slow the rate of bone loss. Tennis is well suited to building strong bones.
- Tennis requires the cooperation of the whole body as you move your feet, arms and hands to get into the right position for the racquet to make contact with the ball. You’re then using the torso and legs to provide the power to hit the ball over the net. All these factors come together every time you hit the ball, and each shot takes flexibility, coordination and balance. Flexibility is great because it can give you a wider range of motion, help prevent injuries and even reduce muscle strain.
- And of course, like all exercise, tennis will help boost our mood helping you feel more optimistic, have greater self-esteem and even become less anxious. Learning to play tennis will keep your mind agile and all that fresh air is a great stress reliever! Playing doubles is also a great way to meet new people and most clubs offer regular social tennis sessions for members and lots of other social tournaments.
A word of warning though! If you’re a tennis beginner, haven’t played in a while, or are taking up exercise after a long time of being inactive, be sensible. Follow our top tips and you’ll have healthy, invigorating – and safe – fun!
SIX TOP TIPS
- Make sure you have plenty of fluids on hand and rehydrate regularly.
- Don’t overdo it. Mix up your physical activity with other low-impact sports.
- Play at a level according to your age and physical condition.
- Avoid playing with a pre-existing illness or injury. If in doubt, talk to a doctor.
- Warm up your muscles and joints before hitting the court.
- Be careful if the court conditions are wet and especially if the surface is slippery.