With Wimbledon fortnight gripping the nation, we thought it was the perfect time to share our top tennis tips. Join us as we serve up the what, why, where and how of tennis – Slimming World style!
What: Tennis is one of the most popular sports in the world. It’s open to everyone, whatever your age, level of fitness or mobility. If you’ve haven’t played before, it’s never too late to learn, as many clubs provide coaching for beginners – and you can always practise with a racket and ball in the park or your garden.
Top tip: The Lawn Tennis Association offers great advice for getting started with tennis – including where you can find coaching and access disability-specific courts in your local area.
Why: Because tennis gives you a full-body workout, there are so many benefits, including:
- Improving cardiovascular health.
- Developing balance, posture and flexibility.
- Strengthening and toning all muscles – that’s arms, legs, hands, shoulders, upper and lower back and core (phew!).
- Boosting your mood – exercise releases feel-good endorphins in the body, contributing to the happiness that comes from living an active, healthy life.
Top tip: Before you start any activity, it’s important to warm up. A few minutes of brisk walking (to your local court or park?), followed by a few slow, controlled swings with your racket, taking your joints and muscles through a full range of motion, will help you avoid any injuries or strains.
Where: You’ll find grass, clay and indoor courts across the UK and Republic of Ireland. If a friendly rally is more your current level, all you need is a partner, a couple of rackets, a ball and enough space to swing. Slimming World Consultant Judit (@sw.eat.slim.judit), the star of our main picture, above, made the most of the sunshine by playing a few sets at her local outdoor tennis court.
Top tip: You don’t always have to pay – Tennis for Free lists every free court available in the UK, as well as offering lessons and access to equipment.
When: Most venues are open from early morning until late in the evening. Although outdoor sports may be less accessible outside of summer, depending on the weather and lighting, indoor courts are open all year round, so there’s always a way to enjoy a game when you fancy one.
Top tip: Tennis can be a really sociable sport – double up and get your family and friends involved!
How: If you fancy trying your hand at tennis, you’ll need a racket and a ball… and then you’re pretty much ready to go! You can pick up a second-hand racket for a few quid or most courts have a set you can borrow.
There’s no need for expensive tennis whites and an armful of sweatbands (unless you want to wear them, of course!) – any loose-fitting clothes you feel comfortable wearing and a pair of supportive trainers are all you need to get started.
Top tip: Slimming World members have an on-the-go activity planner and a FIT log to help them keep track of their activity achievements. Members can also work towards special Body Magic awards which help turn regular activity into a healthy habit – for life.
MORE FOR MEMBERS: You’ll find handy how-to guides for all your favourite outdoor activities – including running, cycling and walking – on our exclusive member website.
Find out more about joining Slimming World here.
*If you’re planning to start a new exercise programme, we recommend you check with your GP first – especially if you have an existing health condition, such as high blood pressure, diabetes or asthma. If you’re pregnant, check the suitability of the exercise with your midwife