It’s July. It’s England. It’s strawberry season.
And it’s Wimbledon.
I don’t play tennis but I can’t fail to be inspired by the amazing athletes playing at the most famous tennis courts in the world. It just makes me want to scrabble around in the loft for a couple of rackets and find a 70s style plastic visor on eBay.
Tennis, it seems to me, is a really good way to keep active. You can usually find some tennis courts in your local area (find yours here) and if you can’t borrow or hire rackets and balls you can pick up some cheap ones in your local sports megastore.
You can take it as easy as you like. Just popping the ball back and forth to your partner will get you moving without too much effort (and, if you’re like me, you’ll be getting a good workout by simply retrieving all the balls which you’ve failed to hit).
Then, when you feel a bit more confident, you can step it up and start practicing those 100-mile an hour serves and aces.
A recent study1 found that a small group of inactive middle aged men at risk of heart disease who completed an 8-week tennis-based exercise programme showed improvement in fitness, a reduction in body fat and lowered their risk of heart disease.
So, persuade a friend, partner, or even one of your kids to venture out to your local tennis court and muck about for an hour. Then you will rightly deserve a Pimm’s and a bowl of strawberries.
1. Rosa Jr et al. A tennis-based health program for middle-aged men who are at risk for heart disease. Integrative Obesity and Diabetes 2017; 3(2): 1-6.