There have been an increasing number of people who want to get fit and healthy. Unfortunately, this means that we have to sacrifice certain facets in our everyday lives in order to achieve this goal. It can be anything from giving up or cutting down on carbohydrates in our diet, or lessening those weekend night outs, or taking up a new exercise regimen.
When it comes to fitness, there are more options than the typical morning jog outdoors or the somewhat old school home aerobic workout. A lot of us hate or are too lazy to go to the gym, spending countless hours on the treadmill and those other complicated machines. If you are one of those people, then you will be more than pleased to know that there are plenty of alternatives that might be more effective and a lot more fun. Take playing tennis, for instance.
Creating a Calorie Deficit
Since the overall topic of health also involves weight loss, incorporating tennis into our fitness regimen becomes natural. First off, dropping pounds is all about creating a calorie deficit, meaning we consume fewer than what we burn on a daily basis. Playing a round of tennis, especially singles matches, burns somewhere in the region of 600 calories, according to a post by Urban Naturale. This number is actually greater than that of cycling and the aforementioned aerobic workouts.
Combining Cardio and Tennis
Another great thing about playing tennis is that it is a high-intensity exercise program that develops our cardiovascular system. There is a modified version of the sport called Cardio Tennis. This type of exercise, which is very popular in Europe, is a concentrated fitness regimen that integrates the racket sport into calisthenics, cardio movements, and plyometric drills. It also features up-tempo music similar to spin classes.
Cardio Tennis appeared in major cities in the United States – first as a fitness fad in the early 2000s – that suddenly grew in popularity throughout the years. Today, many tennis clubs around the country offer this program to sort of add a little spice to the usual routine. One glaring difference of Cardio Tennis compared to regular tennis is that it uses low-compression balls to keep the pace going, burning more calories in the process.
Putting in the Time on the Court
In terms of the amount of time we should put in playing tennis, it is important to strive for at least 30 minutes of reasonably intense workouts at least four to five times a week. This includes competing in matches, doing fundamental drills, and chasing after loose balls. Speaking of which, Laurence Beeken of Weight Loss Resources advises everyone to play tennis with only one ball. That way, you are more obligated to run after it every time it goes out of bounds, putting in another viable cardio workout.
Of course part of the whole hitting the tennis court routine includes putting in the work practicing certain strokes and your service game. We see how professional tennis players warm up before the match by lightly going back-and-forth with their opponents. It is vital for us to do the same, and put in about an hour or so exchanging a variety of shots. If we find ourselves alone on the court, we can always make the most of the wall to hone our forehand and backhand, cut shots and volleys.
Developing Other Facets
Other than the above mentioned categories, tennis helps achieve our other sports and fitness goals. If we use this as a cross training platform or cross train in other sports altogether, it’s important to understand that specific movements and the overall nature of tennis sharpen different aspects of our body.
For example, since the racket sport features a lot of stopping and starting, side-to-side and front-to-back movements, it develops muscles – specifically in the lower body. In addition, we better our hand-eye coordination, as well as improve our flexibility, as not only are we required to cover our side of the playing court, but also do our best to return the ball to the opponent’s.
To Sum Everything Up
Tennis is a great way to add more fun to a customary weight loss workout. Essentially, anyone – from kids to adults to even retirees – can pick up a racket, head on over to a local tennis court, and play. Tennis website Play Your Court, even has a blog post about the oldest professional tennis player in the world, Artin Elmayan. What the piece is trying to say is that if Elmayan can still play at his age, anyone has the ability to use tennis to better their own personal wellbeing.
There are no short cuts to achieving our fitness goals. Tennis, for its part, helps us with this by providing a fun and exciting way to lose unwanted weight, develop our overall conditioning, and give us a better outlook on life.
For more health news, diet regimens, and other fitness tips, please drop by the Keep Healthy Living blog.