Tag Archives: Health

Tennis: A Healthy Sport For All

Tennis is a popular sport enjoyed by people all over the world. 17.84 million people are estimated to be tennis players in the U.S. Tennis is a healthy sport that is played not only for recreation and entertainment  but also it helps maintain sound health and fitness for people of all ages.

How to Play Tennis?

The sport involves two players (singles) or pairs of players (doubles) on opposing sides. Each player uses a taut racket to fling a specific-sized ball towards the opponent over a net in a tennis court. The player scores a point each time the opponent misses a strike.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) mandates that a competitive tennis court must be rectangular, with a length of 23.77 meters. The width will differ, as singles should measure 8.23 meters, and doubles are required to be 10.97 meters wide.

Tennis Gear and Equipment

The sport of tennis requires the following equipment:

  • Tennis racket
  • Tennis ball
  • Tennis shoes

While there is no specific tennis body gear, you may be required to adorn the attire as outlined by the specific tennis club. Other nonessential tennis gear includes a water bottle, headband, wristband, towel and visor.

Quick Tips to Play Tennis

There are a few tennis strategies that help players outdo the competition:

  • Maintain consistency instead of focusing too much on killer shots
  • Try to hit at the opponent’s backhand
  • Position yourself midway between the net and service line
  • Continue to mix up your serve to confuse the opponent
  • Try for deep shots, as they are harder to play

Health Benefits of Tennis

Tennis provides a fun way to indulge in aerobic exercise that catalyzes weight loss. The average person will lose between 350 and 500 calories per hour of non-competitive tennis. A healthy weight may reduce your risk of several diseases, including high blood pressure and diabetes.

Tennis is a complete body workout that supports cardiovascular health as you  run down the court, jump for a swing, and chase the ball. An elevated heart rate also improves mental health and releases ‘feel-good’ hormones.

The hand-eye coordination in tennis improves balance, and the force exerted on the bones during the game may reduce the player’s risk of osteoporosis. As tennis requires players to move around, it promotes agility and ensures you step away from a sedentary lifestyle without over-exerting. While there is no set rule,  playing tennis at least three times a week to  gain the maximum benefits.

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Aerobic Exercises: The Course of Cardiovascular Conditioning

Aerobic Exercise

In simple terms, ‘Aerobic’ translates to ‘with oxygen’. Aerobic exercise is characterized by an elevated heart rate, just enough to maintain for a considerable amount of time.  The American Heart Association advises 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, five days a week, for improved cardiovascular health.

How it Works

The purpose of aerobic exercise is to boost your body’s capacity to use oxygen. During aerobic activity, your muscles require more oxygen than when stationary. The increase in the heart’s ventricles results in faster delivery of blood and oxygen to your muscles. The idea is to elevate the heart’s capacity to send blood within the same heart rate.

Types of Aerobic Exercises

The intensive nature of aerobic exercises may vary. Low intensity aerobic exercises include swimming, cycling, brisk walking, rowing, using an elliptical, while high intensity aerobic activity includes running, step aerobics and jumping rope.

Benefits of Aerobic Exercises

Aerobic exercise, as a habitual practice, is highly recommended by experts. This is no surprise, as it offers a wide array of benefits to the body.

Reduces Risk of Heart Disease

Pivotal to improved cardiovascular health, aerobic exercises strengthen your heart and augment its ability to pump blood.

Lowers Cholesterol levels

Aerobic exercise is known to increase HDL, the ‘good cholesterol’ and mitigate levels of LDL, the ‘bad cholesterol’.

Lowers Blood Pressure

The nature of this exercise helps in alleviating blood pressure, precursor to heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends 40 minutes of moderate to high intensity aerobic exercise to lower blood pressure.

Reduces Weight

While any exercise can catalyze weight loss, aerobic activity proves more effective than anaerobic activity. Fat requires more oxygen to burn and the high oxygen levels supplied to the body during aerobic exercise result in quicker weight loss.

Improves Respiration

Aerobic exercise improves lung fitness, resulting in overall respiratory health, warding off asthma and other pulmonary diseases.

Risks of Aerobic Exercises

Any physical activity, including aerobic exercise, poses some risks. If you have any existing physical ailment, exercise safety and consult a doctor first. High intensity aerobic exercise may cause stress fractures and other injuries so adapt the exercise to your body’s capacity.

Taking precautionary measures, the benefits of aerobic exercises significantly outweigh the risks.

Benefits of Swimming

The human body feels much lighter in water, which makes swimming an enjoyable low-impact choice of exercise for people of different ages and levels of health. Because it requires an individual to move the body against the resistance of water, swimming is a safe way to work out and build up strength.

When an individual swims, it also increases the heart rate. Swimming tones many muscles, due to the fact that the whole body is used for propulsion through the water. Other health benefits include improved joint use and increased endurance.

Most Americans have health clubs or public pools nearby. Many of these are open year-round and can be covered or heated for use in colder weather. Because of its accessibility, multitude of benefits, and low impact, swimming is a positive exercise option for many people

The Healthful effects of Swimming:

Swimming has often been touted as one of the best forms of exercise—but why? This list covers a few of the benefits.

  1. Whole-body conditioning: Swimming may be one of the only physical activities that works the entire body. You’ll tone the upper and lower body with swimming movements.
  2. Little chance of injury: Swimming has very little impact on your body because you’re practically weightless in the water. You won’t stress your joints or bones while swimming.
  3. Improved blood pressure: Any routine workout can help reduce high blood pressure, thereby reducing your chances of having a stroke or developing heart disease.
  4. Weight control: Of course, any kind of exercise will help you regulate your weight and burn off excess calories. Swimmers who seek to lose weight should consider interval training
  5. Reduced stress: Swimming helps release those highly coveted endorphins, which can lead to a better mood. Swimming is similar to yoga, in that it helps muscles relax.

About the author:

Amita Vadlamudi spent much of her career as a computer systems engineer. These days, Amita Vadlamudi enjoys a balanced range of hobbies and activities, one of which is swimming.


Good Nutrition

Good Nutrition

Good nutrition means consumption of a diet that consists of healthy foods that the body needs, and refraining from items that are harmful to the body.

Different foods have different nutrients necessary for the body to function at its optimum level. There are foods like whole grains, lean meats, dairy, and fruits and vegetables that provide carbohydrates, proteins, lean fats, vitamins and minerals that the body needs. Severe lack of any of these nutrients could lead to serious defects occurring in the body that could eventually prove fatal.

The food items that are harmful for the human body are excessive sodium, sugar, full-fat dairy, and trans fat oils. Also unhealthy or even harmful are any sort of canned or processed foods and artificial ingredients such as preservatives, colors and flavorings. Though foods containing these ingredients look and taste good, many of them, in fact, create additional craving for food and force people to eat more food than necessary. The unhealthy ingredients in these foods not only contribute to serious illnesses such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart problems, they also cause myriad health issues affecting skin, bones, muscles and many organs including liver, lungs, and even brain.

Nutritionists advise that people should consume a variety of foods that are as close to natural as possible and avoid processed foods that are full of salt, sugar and trans fat ingredients. It is also advised that people consume controlled portions and not overload on calories. Human bodies store additional calories that are not needed for immediate energy as fat. Fat leads to weight gain which in turn causes many illnesses such as diabetes, strokes and heart attacks. Therefore, it is important not to consume too much of even “good foods” and stay within one’s recommended calorie count.

Depending on their age, height, weight and activity level, men should consume 2,000 – 3,000 calories per day. Women should consume 1,600 – 2,400 calories per day. Also depending on their age and gender, children between the ages of 2 and 18 should consume 1,000 – 3,000 calories per day. As people age, their metabolism slows down and as such, elderly people will need fewer calories.

It is also important to exercise at least 3-4 times a week. Exercise boosts one’s energy level and helps prevent unnecessary weight gain.

About the Author:

Amita Vadlamudi is a fitness enthusiast who engages in regular exercise and follows good nutrition regimen. Amita Vadlamudi also likes to hike during warmer months of the year and swim all year round.