The book, Being Mortal by Atul Gawande opens up a difficult conversation that we tend to ignore; our mortality.  Although the book offers a lot of insight on that subject, I noticed a general theme to an older and active life.  As many of you know from my previous blogs, I tend to connect life with tennis rather than putting tennis in a box and giving it no connections to our lives.  If you are reading this, you must love the game of tennis and want to play it for as long as possible.  I do too.  Many clients I work with are working on how they can improve their game as they age.  The main focus of their improvement centers around technique and strategy that their bodies will allow them to do.  Many tend to accept their new limitations rather than eliminating them.  We may all age, but there are ways to age more slowly for you to enjoy your normal playing style for as long as possible.

With the right mindset and consistent actions that I’ll describe below, you can enjoy the game well into your older years without lowering your expectations.  Let’s dive into the top four actions you can do to stay young on the tennis court.

Keep Moving

We tend to focus on exercise as our way of staying young but rather consistent movement tends to be the most important aspect of staying young.  If we hit the gym for an hour but are sitting the rest of the time, our bodies will start to digress.  The movement can be subtle such as having a standing desk when working at home or taking the stairs rather than an elevator.  My dog keeps me moving at night as I know she is expecting a walk from me!

Keep Your Balance

Falling is the most problematic issue with age.  Maintaining balance is essential to a great tennis player but also for those that want to stay injury free.  One legged lunges, deadlifts, squats and even light jumps are great for balance and strength.  By forcing your body on one leg you will not only create better balance but also see what muscle imbalance you may have that can create a chronic injury in the future.

Stay Mobile

Do you have a stretch routine?  I would encourage you to take 5 minutes during the morning and evening to roll on a lacrosse ball on any sore spots and or do some essential stretches that target your tight areas.  I also do some band work (shuffles and monster walks with an exercise band) to engage and warm up my muscles before I play tennis or exercise.

Stay Strong

This is the one that many neglect and I feel is very important to keeping your bone density and your resting metabolism up.  As we age, we are more prone to broken bones and we have an easier time gaining weight.  Lifting heavy weights in a safe manner (such as front or back squats, bench, deadlift or cleans) can keep your muscle mass up which will allow you to burn more calories while sitting.  Your bone density will stay up too.  Try progressively adding heavier weight each week until you find your 3-rep max.  Then go back down to about 80% of what you can max out with for your next week’s max weight and progressively add more each week until you try to beat your old max.

Need more help with your game?  Let’s take it to the next level by focusing on the 3 pillars of tennis improvement through mobility, strength and nutrition.  Book me for a free consultation to find out how I can help you!

Here’s a forehand lesson I did with great results in getting a lag (whipping forehand):