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Sweat it Out With the Benefits of Tennis

Featured Exercise Series: Tennis
  -- By Liz Noelcke, Staff Writer

The sun is shining, but you are stuck inside? Whether you are diving head first into a new fitness program or not, tennis is a fun sport to get involved with when the weather is nice. No matter if you have played for years or have just picked up a racket, you’ll get a good workout and a good sweat either way.

The Next Superstar?
Let’s say that you’ve only had a little tennis experience, table tennis not included. This doesn’t really matter. All you need is a racket and a set of balls. It is helpful for anyone trying to get into shape because the pace can be as fast as you and your opponent want to make it.

You might not be able to zing a serve like Andy Roddick just yet, but soon enough you’ll master a good swing. If you are feeling competitive, make your opponent run all over the court after the ball, and he or she will be sure to return the favor. When you are looking for a little less excitement or want to concentrate on technique, just try to hit the ball back and forth. Pick the intensity of the workout and feel the burn. Improvement will come in time.

So What’s In It For Me?
Tennis actually has a lot of benefits for somebody trying to get into shape. First, it is aerobic exercise that doesn’t involve the treadmill, making it a little more stimulating. Although there is certainly nothing wrong with the gym, it can get a little monotonous day after day. Take advantage of the outdoors. You’ll be upping your heart rate and developing endurance in the process.

Want to build up some muscles? Tennis exercises all major muscle groups, so as your arms and shoulders work hard, so will your legs and even your core. Your muscles will be bending and extending, so it is important to remember to stretch before and after a game to avoid injury and soreness. A quick warm up to loosen the muscles isn’t a bad idea as well. The more often you play, the better your balance and coordination will become, which is helpful in all areas of life.

A Good Sweat
So while the weather is perfect, go outside and play regularly. Even if you only play a couple of times a week, tennis can be a great supplement to your regular workout plan. In only 30 minutes of playing, you’ll be burning about 150 calories, depending of course on the intensity and duration. Sweat out the toxins, making sure (as always) to replace the fluid lost with plenty of water. Exercise is one way to improve your mood, and so is soaking up some rays. So combine the two and be refreshed. Game, set, match!