Tennis is a Game Changer

Tennis and Nutrition, Together like Racquet in Hand

Celebrate National Nutrition Month with USTA Mid-Atlantic By Maintaining Proper Nutrition on the Tennis Court

Nutrition tips to keep performing on the tennis court.

No matter your level of play, tennis is a great way to get physically active and maintain a healthy lifestyle. When you hit the court and play, you’ll burn calories, strengthen muscles, improve your coordination, and much more. Your time on the tennis court can contribute to your wellness goals; just as it contributes to your goals to improve your tennis game and skills. Critical to reaching your health and physical activity goals is having proper nutrition to fuel your body. Paying attention to your nutrition can support all of the gains you are making on the tennis court. Plus, it can be a differentiator when it comes to your performance. 

March is National Nutrition Month®, spearheaded by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. During March, the Academy encourages everyone to make informed food choices and develop sound eating and physical activity habits they can follow all year long. 

Corey Kuck helps teach you how to maintain proper tennis nutrition.

Making informed food choices is an important part of cultivating nutrition habits that will support your tennis game. There are a wealth of resources for tennis players interested in stepping up their nutrition game and making sound choices. Whether that is nutritious foods to fuel your tennis workouts to the best choices for the recovery. 

We’ve gathered up some resources you can review to learn more about making informed choices in your nutrition. 

Fueling Your Body for Tennis with Mid-Atlantic-based chef, Corey KuckThis article has some good tips from Chef Kuck, a recreational tennis player, and includes an awesome recipe for Herb Pesto crusted Pork Tenderloin with Mediterranean Couscous.

If you haven’t yet explored the “Improve” section of usta.com there are many great articles that can help you, well, improve in tennis! The site has several articles dedicated to nutrition specifically for tennis players of all experience levels. No matter your level, proper nutrition is key. 

Here are just a few of the articles that you may find helpful: 

  • Snack Smarter: Tips for Before and After Exercise – This article is jam-packed with great, easy, healthy options for snacks that can power your tennis workout, practice, or match. 
  • Nutrition at Home– Check this article for some thoughtful reminders and hints for making your nutrition count throughout the day. Especially if you are home more or working from home.
  • Nutrition for Recovery – After a long tennis match or tournament, what you put into your body matters. Check this article for foods and tips to help with recovery. 
  • Hydration Matters – It cannot be said enough how important hydration is for your body especially during warmer days or even down-right blazing hot and humid days playing tennis in the Mid-Atlantic region. This article can help you learn more about proper hydration for your body. 

These are just a few articles and resources that can help you maintain nutrition on the tennis court. As part of your celebration of National Nutrition Month®, take a few moments to review some of these articles and tips on nutrition. Plus, share them with your teammates and tennis friends as you prepare to play more tennis during spring and summer. 

USTA Mid-Atlantic Section has lots of ways you can get into tennis in Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and eastern and southern West Virginia. Visit us and learn about the ways you can play today!  And make sure you are following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube

Team Playing Tennis

Improve Your Overall Health with Tennis

Top Reasons to Play

Have you thought about your heart health lately? In February, the NHLBI encourages you to celebrate American Heart Month to get motivated to adopt heart-healthy behaviors. One of the ways you can take care of your heart and improve your health is by playing tennis with your friends and family.

In other words, join the 3 million new players who picked up a racquet for the first time in 2020 because tennis is the safest sport to play in order to maintain social distance and safety while having fun.1

Reasons to play:

Team Playing Tennis

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, “Research shows that we’re more successful at meeting personal health goals when we join forces with others. When we take care of our hearts as part of our self-care, we set an example for those around us to do the same.”

There are a multitude of reasons why playing tennis is a great activity to improve your health at any age. Whether it is your first time picking up a racquet, or if you are a seasoned player the heart health benefits are endless. 

Play tennis to improve your health by:

Family playing tennis
  • Get fit, lose weight and burn more calories: An hour of singles play can burn 580-870 calories. Put on your favorite fitness tracker, hit the tennis court and watch those calories sizzle away!2
  • Live longer: Playing just three hours/week will reduce your risk of heart disease 56%3
  • Strengthen your heart muscle and your bones: Compared to other sports, tennis players have the lowest incidence of cardiovascular disease4
  • Develop hand-eye coordination: Playing tennis involves several skills that all contribute to good hand-eye coordination. You can improve your agility, balance, coordination, reaction time, and more. 

Together we can celebrate American Heart Month with stronger and healthier hearts today by getting out to play. 

But wait there’s more. The advantages of playing tennis do not stop there. 

Additionally, the lifetime sport of tennis helps your mental and overall well-being by:

  • Reducing stress: Tennis helps you with physical, mental, social, and emotional challenges which increases your capacity to manage stress
  • Increasing brain power: From alertness to tactical thinking, tennis enhances the neural connections in your brain. Kids who play tennis regularly get better grades.5
  • Helping you learn to problem-solve: Tennis is a sport that is based on evaluating angles, geometry, and physics to get the best result, which translates into better problem-solving off the court6
  • Enjoying time with family and friends: Great for the whole family no matter what your age. With minimal equipment needed, it’s easy to meet up with  a friend to play or find one through the game
  • Developing teamwork and sportsmanship skills: From doubles play to team and league play, tennis develops your ability to communicate and work together
  • Improving social skills: Tennis outperforms all other sports in developing positive personality characteristics7

Ready to get out on the courts?

Man Playing Tennis

Most importantly, playing tennis is not just about the competition, it is about living your life to the fullest potential. Additionally, tennis can become part of your life at any age. So get started and gain a positive impact on your life immediately. During American Heart Month, inspire and motivate yourself and those you love to make heart-healthier choices as a regular part of your routine – go play tennis! 

We can’t wait to see you out on the courts! 

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12020 Physical Activity Council Participation (PAC) Report

2Oja, et al, Brit J Sports Med, 2016

3According to a 2016 Harvard University study

440-year study conducted by Johns Hopkins University

5 2013 USTA Study

6In a study in the late 1990s, several experts proposed that tennis, since it requires alertness and tactical thinking, may generate new connections between nerves in the brain and promote a lifetime of continuing brain development. This was supported in John Ratey’s book “Spark.” Ratey was quoted in USA Today as saying, “A heart-thumping game of tennis can keep the brain in top shape.”

7According to a study by Dr. Jim Gavin at Concordia University

orange tennis racket beside green tennis ball

Start the New Year in Fresh New Gear

Refresh Your Tennis Gear for the New Year!

The new year is almost here and soon 2020 will be in the rearview mirror. Now is the best time to refresh and upgrade your tennis gear for the new season. From racquets, string, and shoes – keeping your equipment fresh and updated can help you get the most out of your game.

One of the ways we thought we could help you is to uncover and round up the top trends in tennis gear that are on the horizon. So, USTA Mid-Atlantic checked in with two of our partners, Smith Chaiyakan at  Mains and Crosses, a full-service professional racquet stringing service in Alexandria, Va., and Darrell Haines of Tennis Topia, a tennis shop in Rockville, Md. Not only do Smith and Darrell have their pulse on the hottest equipment in the Mid-Atlantic, all of the products mentioned below can be purchased at their respective shops.  

Refresh Your Tennis Gear with Tennis Topia

Racquets

Wilson Clash. For those of you who don’t follow Wilson Sporting Goods, the Clash is the latest offering from Wilson. According to Darrell, the Clash offers players an “arm friendly, flexible-framed racquet without sacrificing power or sweet spot.” In other words, this racquet is perfect for players who want to get more power from their racquets without risking arm injuries such as tennis elbow. The Wilson Clash comes in a range of options from the Clash 98 to the Clash 108 and even offers options for junior players. The Clash retails between $199 – $249.

If you are new to tennis and looking for a racquet, Darrell says that the Head Titanium Ti S6 is excellent for beginners. The Ti S6 is lightweight and has an oversized racquet head. This means that the racquet is easier to control and will be more forgiving of a mishit ball. The Ti S6 retails for $80. 

String

Restringing your racquet should be a regular part of maintaining the quality of your game because strings lose tension over time and this decreases performance. Smith and Darrell offer the following suggestions for string:

Refresh Your Tennis Gear with Mains and Crosses

Babolat Blast RPM – the best selling string in the world and the string of choice for pro Rafael Nadal. This string offers players spin, durability and playability.

Solinco Hyper G and SolincoHyper G Soft – is a co-polyester string designed to offer more playability and control while allowing players to generate extreme power, spin and bite.

Tecnifibre Triax – According to Smith, the Triax has “performance and durability and is still soft enough for those recovering from tennis related injuries.”

String prices vary but typically start around $12.

Overgrip

There are so many options for overgrips on the market. However, Smith noted that  Tourna Grip is enjoying a popularity spike. It is an overgrip that professional tennis players such as the Bryan Brothers and John Isner choose. Tourna Grip offers a dry, comfortable grip and is able to accommodate all types of players. Tourna Grip retails starting at $5. 

Shoes

According to Darrell, the trend in tennis footwear is a shoe that offers “out-of-the-box comfort.” Additionally, more players are looking for shoes that are as light as a running sneaker with the durability of a traditional tennis shoe. Many brands offer footwear that meet this need and Nike is still one of the best selling brands. However, the K-Swiss Hypercourt Express 2 is the best selling shoe at Tennis Topia. The Hypercourt Express 2 is engineered to be supportive, stable, comfortable and durable. These shoes retail for $105.

Masks

As indoor tennis season is upon us,  players may need to wear a mask while visiting indoor tennis facilities and possibly during tennis play. Darrell  suggests Zensah Sport Performance masks. These masks are designed to be comfortable, breathable and no-slip – perfect for playing sports. Zensah masks retail for $16.

USTA Mid-Atlantic thanks Smith and Darrell for all of their excellent advice. Follow them on social media to continue to get updates on the latest in tennis gear. You can find Smith and Mains and Crosses on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.  Darrell and Tennis Topia can be found on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. 

Don’t forget, USTA Mid-Atlantic’s 12 Days of Gifting! You can join in the fun by following us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Happy Holidays 2020

Happy Holidays From USTA Mid-Atlantic

Sending you the warmest of greetings and happy holidays this season!

Happy Holidays from USTA Mid-Atlantic.

Thank you for being a part of our Mid-Atlantic tennis family. We can’t wait to see you on the courts in the new year!

We understand that this year has been anything but normal, but 2020 has taught us resiliency, adaptability, and innovation. It is through the power of tennis that we can continue to make an impact. Learn how you can make an impact before year-end by clicking here.

With gratitude, from all of us, USTA Mid-Atlantic

And if you missed the latest Mid-Atlantic tennis news, read our latest articles below:

Happy Holidays Tennis Friends

USTA Mid-Atlantic is proud to help EVERYONE grow stronger, healthier, and more connected through tennis. We hope your holidays are full of the joyful spirit the season brings. And that the laughs, high-fives and exhilarating memories of well-played tennis matches fill you with a light that shines for all to see.  Happy Holidays!

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