Who said tennis is a summer sport? Not only can you play it all year, if you stop, it will have a real impact on your health. Here are five of the best reasons to keep playing tennis this autumn
1) If you want to be well, you cannot afford to stop being active
Stop exercising and you will lose the benefits in just over a week. So says the BBC’s health show, Trust Me, I’m a Doctor. There is nothing the programme likes doing more than running mini-trials among human guinea pigs, and when it wanted to know exactly how exercise affects the body it rounded up some volunteers. Not surprisingly, it found that when people were more active they improved their cardiovascular health and their blood sugar levels. But it also found “adverse health effects were measured after just 10 days of inactivity". The bad news for couch potatoes is that “even among healthy people, inactivity can lead to a decline in health.”
2) Exercising in the winter is actually more important than exercising in the summer.
Some research suggests exercise strengthens the immune system according to the NHS. It’s not clear exactly why this should be the case, but if there is even half a chance of reducing the misery of having a cold this autumn by being active, why wouldn't you take it?
3) You will feel less SAD
Winter blues or more seriously SAD (seasonal affective disorder) can make winter feel even longer and gloomier than it is. One of the most successful treatments, according to Trust Me I’m a Doctor is light therapy. Thirty minutes a day outside should be enough to do the trick. Unfortunately, however, you cannot top up your vitamin D levels at the same time. Between October and March in the UK the sun is too low in the sky to reach us with enough UVB rays (the ones the body uses to make Vitamin D). Eat oily fish, red meat, egg yolks or fortified foods instead.
4) Pretty parks perk you up
Yes really! Working out in a pleasant natural environment (“green exercise”) not only cheers you up more than working out indoors, it is also linked to improved self-esteem according to a study at the University of Essex. It found “ green exercise is more effective than exercise alone in improving measures relevant to cardiovascular and mental health”. Fortunately, hundreds of tennis courts are in truly beautiful parks. Enjoy what the American call "leaf peeping" and admire the autumn colours between games.
5) New season fashion
The AW18 collections (and a few end of season sales) are in the shops now! You don't need us (or an academic study) to tell you that looking good will make you feel good. (Don't forget, all LTL players can save 10% off the new range of Mizuno tennis shoes!)