I think tennis is huge fun to play. It’s also a great way to get fit – and stay sociable – but the benefits don’t end there. Playing tennis is good for both your physical and mental health and wellbeing. And despite some popular misconceptions, it’s accessible to all ages and skill levels. With Wimbledon underway, now is the perfect time to be inspired and learn how to play. Even if you’ve never picked up a tennis racquet before, there’s no need to be daunted. Remember that the greatest Centre Court champions were beginners once. By all means, feast your eyes on the serves and spin on display at SW19. Then be brave and hit your local court. According to the LTA (Lawn Tennis Association), there are over 23,000 tennis courts across Great Britain. Click here to find the closest ones to you.
Tennis for physical fitness
I think tennis is a superb full-body workout. If you learn how to play tennis, running around after the ball will be great cardio, so tennis gets you fit. Did you know that the average player covers around 3-5 miles during a match? So it’s great for both aerobic and anaerobic fitness, not to mention speed and stamina.
Another bonus? Playing singles especially can burn lots of calories (up to 500 per hour). That means tennis is also an effective way to lose weight and stay lean.
Tennis players tend to perform the same key movements over and over again. (Picture the service action, for example.) This repetition helps to tone specific parts of the body, such as the thighs, arms and core. So what’s not to like?! I suggest you learn how to play and play regularly. Then, as you improve, you’ll also boost your power, flexibility, balance and coordination. Tennis is also a weight-bearing exercise, and therefore effective at strengthening your bones and staving off osteoporosis.
A healthy mind
Tennis doesn’t just offer lots of physical health benefits; it can boost your mental wellbeing too. If you want to win, you can’t switch off on-court and exercise on autopilot. Your mind needs to stay focused, alert and primed to think tactically. In other words, if you learn how to play tennis, the sport will enhance the neural connections in your brain.
The stress-busting properties of tennis are yet another incentive to pick up that racquet. Post-exercise endorphins are proven mood elevators, which help you to feel happier and more relaxed. And don’t discount the feel-good factor of mastering a new skill. Serving an ace or finally nailing a tricky forehand can promote a serious sense of pride and personal achievement.
If you learn how to play tennis, it can even help make you smarter. Sounds far-fetched? Not really. As a sport, tennis involves the constant evaluation of physics, geometry and angles in order to win points. This encourages brain development and may foster better problem-solving and decision-making skills away from the court.
Tennis is a sociable sport on many levels. Learn how to play tennis and it helps to develop vital life skills, such as patience, discipline, and the ability to win (and lose) graciously. Tennis can also counter isolation, help forge new friendships and foster a valuable sense of belonging.
Not got a partner? Joining a club is a great way to meet new, but like-minded, people. Club membership also opens up a world of opportunity, in terms of accessing specialist facilities and competitions. This is also a fantastic way in which to learn how to play tennis as you can benefit from coaching opportunities, too.
As I’ve mentioned, tennis really is for everyone. It’s no exaggeration to say the game is suitable for anyone from four to 94. Don’t forget that different generations can easily play together – unlike, say, rugby or basketball.
Wimbledon fans know all too well that tennis can be a challenging, professional game. But it can also be adapted to different needs and health levels. Tennis works as gentle exercise for people recovering from injury. And with certain modifications, it can even be played by people with disabilities.
Keen to get your children involved? Find a mini-court and start with a short racquet and sponge balls. Want to enjoy playing well into your “golden years”? A clay court is kinder to ageing joints, and evening matches won’t expose you to the burning midday sun.
That’s not to say that tennis is just for summer (despite the association with strawberries and cream!). Most decent clubs offers floodlit and indoor courts, which means it’s a viable year-round sport.
WIN! A £100 British Tennis Shop voucher
Fancy a new racquet or some proper tennis shoes? To celebrate Wimbledon season, I am offering you the chance to win a £100 British Tennis Shop voucher – the LTA’s official online retailer – from July 1st. So there’s no excuse not to take the plunge and serve up a new skill. You could be following in the footsteps of the likes of Roger Federer by the end of the month!
To be in with a chance of winning:
- FOLLOW the Style and Decor UK Instagram account.
- Find the competition post showcasing a collection of tennis shots from July 1st.
- Tag your Instagram friends in a comment – one at a time in each comment please, but you can enter as many times as you like!
Terms & conditions
- You are providing your information to Style and Decor UK not British Tennis Shop, Instagram (or any other social media channel).
- Entrants must live in the UK.
- You must be aged 18 or over to enter this competition.
- Closing date for all entries is midnight 31st July 2019.
- We will select a winner at random by 2nd August. We will then notify the winner with a direct message.
- This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by Instagram
- The prize is for a voucher only. It’s non-transferable and no cash alternative will be given.
- Winner has 48 hours to respond to the notification that you have won. If we do not hear back from you, we reserve the right to choose another winner.