Now that spring is here and summer is right around the corner, it’s time to put down those dumbbells, step away from the treadmill, and get your butt out of the gym and into the fresh air!
Health and fitness isn’t always about lifting weights or pounding the pavements, sometimes the best way to do your body some good is with some good old-fashioned sport!
We moved into our flat at the end of 2012, and after a quick scoot round the area and a browse of Google earth, we found that there were some tennis courts down the road. Even better…they’re free to use! So last year when the weather finally brightened up, we dusted off our old tennis rackets, nipped down to Sports Direct for a pack of 3 tennis balls (£1.99…bargain!) and attempted to recreate Wimbledon. Sadly it didn’t quite look like that, however it WAS pretty fun and a great thing to do on a nice sunny evening after being sat at a desk all day.
Jump forward to this year, and I’ve just got back from our first tennis session of 2014. I was never a great sportswoman at school, and barely got through tennis sessions but whatever level you’re at, it can be a great all over workout. I love that it’s one of the sports my boyfriend and I can play together, and if you’re feeling sociable, you can always play doubles with friends.
If you’ve never played before, see if any friends have a racket you can borrow – failing that, you can normally pick up fairly cheap ones from big sports stores. Next, find yourself a partner. If you know someone who can play, ask him or her to give you a few pointers. Even if you can barely hit it, constantly bending down to pick up the ball is a great leg toner in itself!
As you get better, you’ll find yourself getting more competitive, and it’s a great feeling when you manage a decent shot. Try doing some drills – have someone lightly tap it over the net and practice aiming in a particular direction. It can take a while to get into it (I’m often being shouted at – ‘MOVE YOUR FEET!!’) but an hours session will fly by. By the end, you’ll have got a good cardio workout from running around, arm workout from swinging the racket, and leg workout from lunging to hit the ball. What more could you ask for?
Now where are the strawberries and cream….
Find somewhere locally to play for free at http://www.tennisforfree.com and check out some basic online lessons at http://www.intosport.com/academies/tennis-school/11/default.aspx.