Tennis over 40

Li Na at the 2007 Medibank International in Sy...
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Exercise is a natural way to retain your youthful looks. If you like racket sports then tennis, especially doubles, is an ideal choice. Join a local tennis club for opportunities to meet new and hopefully like-minded friends. Playing outside exposes you to invigorating fresh air and sunshine. Even moderate but regular play will tone your arms, back and legs. You won’t believe those taut thighs after a few months! And a few sets will de-stress you and make you laugh through the mis-match of effort and outcome. Laugh lines are far more attractive than frown lines.

The benefits for a person over 40 years of age playing Tennis three hours per week at moderately vigorous intensity :

Increases energy levels, optimism and self-esteem.

Is mentally challenging as requires alertness and tactical thinking.

Burns calories; strenghtens muscles; improves heart function.

Physical Benefits
Aerobic fitness by burning fat and improving your cardiovascular fitness and maintaining higher energy levels.

Anaerobic fitness by offering short, intense bursts of activity.

Acceleration skills through practice in sprinting, jumping and lunging.

Powerful first step by requiring anticipation, quick reaction time and explosion into action.

Speed through a series of side-to-side and up and back sprints to chase the ball.

Leg strength through hundreds of starts and stops which build stronger leg muscles.

General body coordination and timing since you have to move into position and then adjust your upper body to hit the ball successfully.

Gross motor control through court movement and ball-striking skills which require control of your large muscle groups.

Fine motor control through the use of touch shots like angled volleys, drop shots and lobs.

Agility by forcing you to change direction during a during a typical tennis point.

Dynamic balance through hundreds of starts, stops, changes of direction and hitting on the run.

A fun and physically demanding sport that is tantalisingly difficult to master.

Increase in bone strength and density through high impact.

Conditioning effects which promote overall health, fitness and resistance to disease.

Depending on frequency and intensity potential for weight loss.

Improvement in eye-hand coordination through constant assessment of the timing between the on-coming ball and the proper contact point.

Flexibility due to the constant stretching and maneuvering to return the ball.

Psychological Benefits:
Sense of camaraderie being part of a team or doubles play.

Social aspect – interacting and meeting with other like-minded people with a common interest.

from Tennis Love by Ivy Green

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