Staying Healthy On & Off The Court Part II

Staying Healthy On & Off The Court Part II

In order to maintain strength, stamina, and longevity as a tennis player it’s essential that you maintain a healthy regimen both on and off the court.

We’re not just talking about a healthy diet and an efficient workout routine here, we’ll be talking about how to take care of your health both physically and mentally. This is the second part of our healthy tennis lifestyle series. Also read Part One for more tips on how you can perform to your fullest potential for a long and healthy tennis career!

Comfortable Contact Zone

Positioning yourself correctly on the court is the best measure you can take towards preventing arm injuries. Always watch the flight of the ball and make small adjustments in your position accordingly. By swinging comfortably within the targeted area you can ensure your racquet is in optimal contact with the ball. To do this, follow four steps below.

Get in position

Watch the ball

Take enough steps

Align contact point with waist

Arm problems occur when a swing is too high and involves too much action in the wrist causing tension in the elbow, wrist, and shoulder. This can be alleviated by practicing proper footwork and contact within a comfortable strike zone.

Staying Cool

If you live in a place where warm temperatures are a point of concern, then you know how important it is to stay cool on the court. A game of tennis is strenuous enough without the help of the sun, so take these precautions for beating the heat.

 

  • Stock your tennis wardrobe with light-colored, wicking fabric. This helps alleviate heat retention and keep your body cooler.
  • Make sure you hydrate the day BEFORE a practice or match, as well as the day of.
  • Do your best to stay out of the midday sun between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. This also goes a long way in protecting your skin from harsh sun exposure.
  • If you feel even slightly overheated try holding an ice pack or ice towels against your underarms, groin, back of the neck, or abdomen.

Sun Protection

Speaking of sun damage, playing tennis is a great opportunity to wreck your skin. Ultraviolet radiation are the sun’s most damaging rays. Too much exposure is dangerous and can cause skin cancer. UV rays are worst in spring and summer and are further exacerbated when reflected off water, snow, pavement, etc. This is why it’s so important for tennis players to be conscious of wearing sun protection when playing outside. Here’s a few tips for staying covered on the court.

  • Always wear sunscreen no matter the weather. The sun can do an equal amount of damage when it’s overcast and cold.
  • Broad Spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays is best. Use at least 30 SPF and make sure it’s not older than two years as sunscreen can go bad.
  • Apply at least 30 minutes before going outside and reapply every two hours. A good rule of thumb is to use a palm-full to cover your arms, legs, neck and face.
  • Wear wide brimmed hats, tightly woven shirts and pants, as well as sunglasses that protect at least 99 percent of UV rays.

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