Serve em' up! There are few athletic events more satisfying than whaling on a tennis ball and watching your opponent swat air with the racquet as the ball whizzes by.
Photo courtesy of Marc Di Luzio
Along with being just plain fun, tennis is mentally and physically challenging. It's also a great social outlet you can enjoy with your family and friends. These perks contribute to the popularity of both playing and watching tennis.
Armed with a racquet, tennis shoes, and tennis balls, most anyone can learn to play tennis, even wheelchair users.
If you are already fit, you'll probably find singles tennis more challenging. If you are less fit, playing doubles might be for you. Kids who learn to play tennis develop skills they can enjoy throughout their lives.
For most people, the best way to get started is to take individual or group lessons from a certified instructor, or take a class at a local college, gym, or community center. Learning from a pro will help you avoid bad habits, prevent frustration, and learn the right way to play from the start.
Can playing tennis improve your health?
If you are a beginner, short rallies make it hard to keep your heart rate up long enough for cardiovascular benefits. As you get better, though, a vigorous singles match can burn up to several hundred calories per hour. Doubles will burn fewer calories because there is less territory to cover and you don't hit the ball as often.
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