Racquet sports are very demanding. Here's how to stay healthy while playing the sport you love.
1. Stretch before and after you play, every time you playWarming up thoroughly before you play will help you avoid muscle pulls and strains. Stretching afterwards will minimize your stiffness and make you more flexible.
2. Always wear eye protection, as appropriateGetting hit in the eye by a racquet or ball is dangerous. Protect your eyesight by wearing certified lensed eyewear if your sport warrants it. Err on the side of caution.
3. Vary your exercises, and cross-train to keep your body symmetricRacquet sports are asymmetric in that they strengthen your racquet arm more than your other arm. Use other exercises to keep your body in balance and strong everywhere.
4. Eat well and get your restRacquet sports are demanding. Your body cannot perform without adequate rest and healthful food.
5. Listen to your bodyIf some body part hurts, let it rest. Be alert to pain in your ankles, knees, shoulders, elbows, or back. Being aware of aches and pains will help you gauge which are minor, which are new, and which are serious.
6. Do not play more matches than your body can withstandTry to keep your playing schedule balanced so that you do not have too many matches with too little recovery time between them.
7. Increase your fitness level gradually, over timeIt takes time to develop the full fitness needed for racquet sports. Do not expect to get fit overnight or over one weekend.
8. Buy new shoesYour feet take a pounding, and so do your shoes. Replace them every three to six months.
9. Hydrate before, during, and after you playWater is essential for your athletic performance. Stay hydrated, and you will increase your chances of performing well, avoiding injury, and recovering as quickly as possible.
10. Keep a positive mental attitude, and remember that it is a gameThere is no need to add mental stress to the varied physical stresses of your game. Once you have prepared as well as you can, get on court, get in the moment, and enjoy the game!