Loose some extra poundage and see what happens. Whether a pro or a twice-a-week enthusiast, every player needs a proper exercise program to play his or her best tennis. It will strengthen your muscles, build up your stamina and, combined with a few warm-up routines before matches, greatly reduce the chance of muscular injury. And of course, by keeping fit you’ll improve your general health and, more than likely, reduce your weight by a few pounds. If you plan to play tennis on a regular basis, you’ll be surprised how much easier that is when you’ve shed some excess weight. A few extra pounds can slow you down on the court. If you can get to your optimal body weight, you definitely improve your endurance and speed on the court. Assuming you already have a decent exercise routine and don’t over do it with your diet too much, losing 10 extra pounds won’t require anything drastic. If you trim 500 calories a day and you’ll loose a pound a week. Tweaking your diet a little and adding a couple of 10 minute walks each day might be all it takes. Below are five minor changes that add up to roughly 500 calories.
1) Eat whole grains for breakfast – People who eat breakfast, especially whole-grain cereals, are less likely to be overweight than those who skip it or slam down some ham and eggs or waffles and pancakes. Choose a cereal that has at least 5 grams of fiber and is low in sugar.
2) Cut back on sports drinks – Save sports drinks for heavy exercise. Unless you’re exercising for more than one hour, stick with water. Obviously, after an hour of exercise, you need to replenish some carbohydrates, but calories from sports beverages, juice, and soda can add up quickly. Opt for 8 ounces of water instead.
3) 10 minute walks – Think consistency and not intensity. In addition to burning calories, two 10 minute walks added to your daily routine will aid in food digestion and will also reduce the amount of fat-producing insulin that’s released into your body. Your walks should follow your meals.
4) The size of the meal – Pay attention to portions. You might eating the right foods, just too much of them. The reduction is simple. Put away the large plates and bowls. Using smaller plates and bowls may surprise you when it comes to the benefits of weight-loss. You may also want to measure out your portions to be sure you’re cutting back.
5) Don’t eat so fast – Slow down when you sit down. Studies have shown that people who eat fast consume more calories than people who were told to take their time. So eat slower and eat less.
Steven White is the author of…
Teaching Tennis: Protocol for Instructors