This Labor Day weekend, I'm taking inspiration from the international athletes competing in the U.S. Open and heading to the court for a game of tennis.
In a tennis match, players use rackets to hit a rubber ball back and forth over a net. This sport can be played by two people (called singles) or four people (doubles).
Although I've never played competitively, growing up I loved helping my hermana practice for her school tournaments and watching mi madre play with her friends. Now I enjoy playing for fun with my husband. This sport is a great cardio workout for all ages and fitness levels!
3 Reasons to Try Tennis
- It is a great way to stay active with friends: You need at least 2 people to play this sport, so schedule a match with a friend and catch up as you burn calories. Having an amiga to meet at the court makes you less likely to skip your workout, as I mention in Fitness: 4 Reasons to Add Friends to Your Exercise Routine.
- It's a fun way to get a total-body workout: Instead of forcing yourself through repetitions of squats and push-ups, get lost in the game while your arms, shoulders, core, and legs work hard to hit and chase the ball. With so many muscle groups working, tennis is a great cross-training option for any sport.
- Play outside: After working indoors all day, I take my workouts afuera as much as possible--simply being in green space is a proven mood-booster, as I mention in Fitness: 3 Reasons to Exercise Outside. With colder months right around the corner, take advantage of the sunshine and the long Labor Day weekend and hit the outdoor court.
Sounds like a fun fitness option! ¿How do I get started?
Many parks and community recreation centers have free outdoor tennis courts open to the public, or get creative and use chalk to make your own court in a flat driveway or open space. You will need your own racket, which you can buy new or used online or at a sporting goods store, and tennis balls.
Don't know how to play? No hay problema. Teach yourself the basics with these simple rules. When you're ready to up your game, enroll in a group clinic at a local recreation center. Private lessons are a great investment: 2-3 sessions will give you the foundation to play for years!
Regular physical activity can help control your weight, strengthen your bones and muscles, and reduce your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. Getting regular exercise is easy when you choose activities you enjoy. Grab a racket and a friend and hit the court to stay healthy this weekend.
¿Need workout inspiration? Click here to read more of my fitness suggestions.
A teacher by day, The Wise Latina Club’s Natalie Wagner Fierro is the co-founder of the Institute for Student Health. She equally loves food (cooking or dining in Washington’s restaurants) and burning calories by distance running, practicing yoga, and archery. Click here to read more about and connect with Natalie.
Edited by: Viviana Hurtado, Ph.D.What will you do to stay active this Labor Day weekend?