Author: Sarah Marshall, CPT
Looking for a new activity as the summer comes to an end? Learning a new sport can add variety to your workout program and enhance your personal wellness. Try tennis!

The Benefits
Tennis is not just for young, hard hitting teenagers. There are health benefits for individuals of all ages and skill levels. By getting out and playing 2-3 times a week you can complement other fitness programs such as walking or swimming. Three hours of moderate tennis will burn 1,397 calories, and even more for competitive tennis.

Tennis improves flexibility, stamina, speed, strength, and hand-eye coordination. Another advantage is that it works all the major muscle groups especially the quads, hamstrings, shoulders and upper arms. It truly is a full body workout.

How to Start?
The only equipment needed are proper court shoes
, a tennis racket, a tennis ball, and a partner. Once you have this equipment in hand it is easy to play.

Before You Hit the Courts!
You should be in relatively good shape before you hit the courts to avoid injury. Spending some time strengthening the lower body will pay off in avoiding knee and ankle injuries. Exercises such as squats, leg extensions, hamstring curls, lunges, and calf raises are great for this. To prevent back strains and keep your swing strong it is a good idea to work your abdominals and upper body. Some good exercises are oblique crunches, lat pull-downs, shoulder press, and wrist curls.

Dont forget about proper technique while playing; this will also prevent injuries on the court. If you have never played tennis, it is a good idea to take a lesson to learn proper tennis technique.