Play Tennis for fun and get fit by mistake!

Last weekend I played tennis for the first time in 30 years. My wife and I are lucky enough to live near a tennis court that is very rarely used. So we went to a supermarket, bought two bats and some balls (for £15 total!) and started playing. I know that they should properly be called racquets, but believe me, when they are in untrained hands like ours, they are definitely bats.

To say that we were truly dreadful would be a considerable understatement. Passers-by initially found it fascinating to watch, until they realised that no one was safe from stray tennis balls…

We had a lot of fun. We got well and truly puffed out, mainly running after balls that we had no chance of hitting, but also going outside the court to collect the balls that went over the fence. They don’t make the fences high enough, do they? Or that’s what our spectators thought!

All this made me think. I’ve been reading a lot recently about the benefits of short, high intensity intervals in training. As a runner, you can never convince me to abandon long runs where to buy cialis australia. They are great for endurance and running efficiency, and I really enjoy running through the countryside in a world of my own.

But short bursts of high intensity exercise (running or other forms) are well known for improving performance very rapidly. And that is just what playing tennis is about. A burst of running as fast as you can, followed by a rest.

Even though I do a fair bit of running, this 1 hour of tennis gave me quite a workout, and the next morning I could feel muscles that I didn’t know that I had. It MUST be doing me good! And it really was great fun. It may not have been much to watch – Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams we are NOT – but we enjoyed it, and it gave us a good workout. What a way to take advantage of the summer evenings!

If you want to get fit, but you feel stuck in a rut, try something different and fun. There are many possibilities – tennis, badminton, swimming, squash… And down here in Cornwall there is Pilot gig racing – rowing in the sea in teams of 6 or 8. If you want a workout that will really stretch you, try rowing! Chances are, you’ll enjoy it so much you won’t even realize that you are getting fitter!

Rob Knowles 27 July 2010