Last December, Carol Michaels Fitness wrote about how people over the age of 50 should approach working out. We discussed how “over 50 exercisers should modify their workout due to potential physical changes associated with aging. Make sure to exercise to stay healthy not get injured.”
As we get older exercise does become that bit harder (and for many it wasn’t easy in the first place), as the body is not as adept to recovering as it once was. Tennis is a one of a select type of sports that can be enjoyed by anyone from the age of 5 – 95.
Tennis Canada listed 8 reasons why tennis is beneficial to older athletes putting a reduction in heart disease at the top of the list. Health concerns are often a cause of anxiety for older generations who feel that they cannot stay healthy in the same way they used to. No matter what their level of tennis is they will receive a good cardiovascular workout that will safety raise their heartbeat. Tennis Canada also emphasizes that tennis is a great way to socialize and have fun. Loneliness is one of the biggest hazards of old age. So joining a tennis club is also a great way to meet new people.
Most sports become unavailable to play because they place big demands on the body as we get older. In fact many athletes retire from professional competing in their early 30s. Play Your Court posted an article by tennis columnist Ren Gates in which he detailed the top 10 reasons why tennis is the best sport for all ages. In the article he declared that “compared to other sports, especially contact sports, tennis is very safe. Most injuries are related to overuse, but with the proper exercises, even those can be minimized or even eliminated.” Exercises such as lunges are a good workout for tennis players as they replicate the movements of gameplay. Lunges will also strengthen knee and ankle joints, which will reduce the chances of injury. It is recommended that performing 5 sets of 10 lunges on each side will help you avoid injury and build up muscle around the aforementioned joints.
Despite tennis being a sport that all ages can play it is still too demanding for some players. A new version of the sport called Pickleball has been developed that takes the basics elements of tennis and adapts them for a slower moving game. Two big differences are that there is no overhead serve and no volleying at the net. Different rackets are also used and resemble large ping pong paddles. The court is also smaller than a tennis court which according to Dallas News makes it “an approachable game for seniors.” The game requires very little running especially if played as a doubles match.
Tennis is ideal for over 50s as a fun way to improve health and stay social. Now with more suitable versions of the game being developed there is no reason why anyone shouldn’t’ be able to get outside and have fun.