Summer is one of the best times of the year. Wouldn’t you agree? Ok, it’s not as awesome as Fall, but it’s a close second. It’s definitely one of my favourite times of the year, but not for the reasons you would think.
While most people are recovering from winter and heading outside for fresh air and sunshine, I’m plopped in front of the TV. Summer in the Caribbean is incredibly humid and often rainy (cue hurricanes), and sometimes all you can do is sit in front of the fan and try not to move. Luckily for me, summer is a great time of the year for sports! This year is extra special with the World Cup, but each year summer brings some of the finest sports programming. Golf has the US and British Open. The Tour de France starts in July, and while I’m not too into cycling, I love watching the beautiful European countryside go by. And of course, there’s Wimbeldon, which has now entered its second week.
If you follow us on Twitter or Instagram, you’ll know that I love tennis. I even recapped my experience about my first tennis tournament a few months ago. But even before I played and became familiar with the intricacies of the sport (forehand grips, creating topspin, etc.,), I thoroughly enjoyed watching the major matches. It’s not just a game played by ladies who lunch at country clubs. The game has changed over the years and today it’s a sport comprised of elite athletes. Have you ever watched women’s tennis? Women like Serena Williams, Maria Kirilenko, and Samantha Stosur aren’t just tennis players. They are strong, muscular, powerful athletes!
While these ladies may spend a ton of time in the gym to increase their hitting power and explosiveness off the baseline, playing tennis has incredible health benefits that you can benefit from as well, even if you’ve never played before! The very basics of the game, like running to the ball and hitting it back over the net to your opponent, provide an amazing interval cardio workout. And it doesn’t even matter if you can’t serve, or the ball goes wide. Who cares? Your body doesn’t know the difference!
I play 3 hours of tennis every week and that’s really the only cardio I do. I put way more effort into running down a ball than I ever would on a treadmill. And I absolutely love it. There isn’t a single cardio machine at the gym that I could love as much as I love tennis. Although I am Canadian and I tend to apologize to my opponent a lot, it brings out my competitive side, which we all need from time to time. Hmmm…maybe I’m not so competitive after all!
And it’s not just the cardio that you can benefit from. The United States Tennis Association (USTA), has 34 reasons why you should consider playing tennis regularly! I’ve listed a few below, but you can check out the entire list here.
incredible interval training
Tennis provides a great high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout. Short, intense bursts of activity followed by a period of rest or minimal recovery allow you to burn more fat and increase your metabolism more effectively than a workout completed at a sustained pace.
effective cross training
If you play any other sport, an hour or two of tennis is a great way to spend your cross-training days. It offers up cardio, endurance, flexibility, and mental training all in a fast-paced, fun sport!
Balance is essential in tennis. Controlling your body and your swing while you’re sprinting towards the ball is not easy! Without balance, a player is not able to hit effective shots.
burns lots of calories
Thanks to the HIIT provided, you burn a ton of calories. I wear my heart rate monitor when I play, and I burn anywhere from 300-500 calories in an hour.
a lifetime of play
Like golf, tennis is a sport that you can play for the rest of your life. You can easily control your pace, and while you may not run down as many balls when you’re in your 70’s, your technique just gets better over time. It’s also a sport that your entire family can play. I’ve recently convinced my husband to take up the sport so we’ll have something to enjoy together in our retirement years (other than golf, of course).
So get out there and give it a try! I think you’ll love it!
Do you play tennis? Do you watch Wimbeldon?