Playing tennis – how to get started

Not just a great way to get active, there are also a number of health benefits of playing tennis. From getting you moving, to finding new friends, hitting the courts brings a number of wellbeing wins.

And the great thing about this hobby is that it’s a sport for all ages. Read on to discover how to get started playing tennis, along with the wealth of health benefits you’ll enjoy.

The health benefits of tennis

Not just an excellent way to lose a few pounds (the average tennis player burns an impressive 400 to 600 calories per hour), tennis is a brilliant form of exercise for strengthening our balance and building up muscle mass – both increasingly vital as we age.

There’s not just the physical benefits to reap either. Tennis requires mental focus and quick response times, so your mind has to stay just as active as your body during a game.

It’s important not to forget the wellbeing benefits you’ll glean from being social too. Tennis can easily be enjoyed in accordance to social distancing guidelines, and is an excellent way to meet with friends from other households at a safe distance. Add an ounce or two of healthy competition and the satisfaction of hitting a particularly good shot, and it’s hardly surprising that many of us are turning (or returning) to tennis.

How to get started playing tennis

Find the right kit

It’s not worth forking out on a super expensive tennis racket unless you’re sure you like the game. While coaches and clubs currently advise bringing your own racket to practice due to Covid-19, many will still provide communal rackets that will be cleaned. Staff at your local club will also be able advise you on the best weight and your ideal size of grip. Proper shoes will also help guard against injury in the long run and help you make the most of your game.  You can even buy a softer tennis ball for beginners that works at a slower speed to allow you to really hone your strokes.

Choose the right lesson

Group lessons are an affordable way to figure out if tennis is for you, as well as help you make new friends. Although, private lessons are usually the quickest way to learn and improve as instructors can teach you the basics from the start and analyse your strengths and weaknesses.

Remember to warm up

It’s always important to warm up, whatever our age or ability. This becomes even more important as we get older – even minor injuries can be troublesome. A brisk walk or light jog for five minutes will get your heart rate up and blood flowing to your muscles. Take a few minutes to do some stretching. Focus on the muscles you’ll be using most during the game – areas like your shoulders, wrists, arms, knees and ankles.

Have fun

If you go down the group session route, you’ll quickly find a partner to play with regularly. Try to set up some weekly court time together. Even if you are complete beginners, there’s still plenty of fun to be had.

Enjoy a playing tennis away from home

Tennis holidays are a great way to enjoy the sport and there are plenty out there to discover. Active Away organises tennis trips for individuals, couples and families at beginner, intermediate and advanced playing levels. Well worth a look if you’re planning your next holiday.

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