For the past two months, COVID-19 has been forcing us to live life differently. Our lifestyles as individuals have changed greatly, our life as a collective society is set to undergo even greater changes. But change is good.
Sometimes change is uncomfortable at the beginning but we also need to remember that change also brings exciting opportunities that help us explore new things and grow.
What we can definitely expect to change is our attitude to fitness and exercise. Now more than ever, we need to keep fit to maintain or boost our immune system.
At the same time, one of the main things that COVID19 will greatly affect is how we relate to one another in terms of physical contact.
For fitness junkies like me who like to stay fit and get healthy by engaging in sports, this lifestyle change will be particularly hard. Because I, like most people, enjoy the synergy of working out in groups.
But in the absence of workout groups, perhaps this is the perfect time to consider a new sport – tennis. Considering the nature of the sport and how it’s played in relation to other sports, I think it is definitely the safest sport to play during this difficult time. Here’s why:
No physical contact needed: This is the most important thing during this period. Tennis can be played to its maximum efficiency without the need for players to physically engage.
What’s more? Players are a good distance apart from each other. For a standard court (78m), players will be at least 8 to 11 metres from each other all the time which is more than the 6-metre social distancing protocol.
This simply means players are not at risk of coming into contact with bodily fluids of an opponent and hence avoiding the possibility of contracting the virus.
It’s an individual sport: Tennis is usually played solo. Unlike basketball and football which require teams, tennis is a singles game. All you need you is you, a ball, a racket, an opponent and you’re good to know.
This simply means if you don’t live alone, then you can easily play tennis. You don’t need a group of people. You can play with your partner, child, friend or colleague.
Since less people in a given space means less risk of spread COVID19, tennis is a great option for enjoying sport while keeping to the safety rules.
It’s an excellent workout: Tennis is the total workout package. Every single muscle of the body gets a stretch when you’re on court. You run, hop, smash and grip all at the same time.
Tennis is especially good for the heart with research proving that 3 hours of tennis weekly reduces the chance of cardiovascular disease by 56%.
It increases your lung capacity and stamina; making you fitter and healthier. And the best bit? Tennis players have the longest life expectancy by as much as 10 years. In other words, play tennis and live longer! Quite as simple as that.
So, whenever you're thinking of getting your fit on or trying a new sport, keep tennis in mind. It’s a great exercise, it’s safe and above all, it is your best bet at increasing your life expectancy.
In my next post, I’ll share how you can play tennis in a safe way during COVID19. Until, stay safe, stay healthy, and go get a racket.
Credit: Naa Shika Adu (Ace Tennis Foundation in Ghana and presently serves on the Gender, Equality and Equity Committee of the Ghana Tennis Federation)