Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Racket sports – sexy, fun and slimming

I’m in love with movement and oxygen, and will always encourage anyone looking to trim down to keep moving.

Looking for a sport that is fun, hot, and that will make you want to play daily, or as often as possible? Try the forgotten – the racket sports. These are sexy by nature. Racket sports are fun and taxing. And classy. They are some of the most invigorating sports out there, and they tend to become a habit.

Racket sports, especially squash, have a great reputation for fitness, but beware: to play racket sports safely and prevent unnecessary injuries you need to be properly prepared by stretching first - and already pretty fit.

Racket games, like squash, tennis and badminton, are the types of sports that work all the energy systems and require a combination of skill, stamina, strength, power and reaction time.

These are sports one should get fit to play, rather than play to get fit. You do double duty and this helps tremendously with your fitness level. These games are quite high-intensity sports.

One thing that can make you feel good as a racket player is splurging on a giant racket bag like the experts have. They are expensive but oh so cool. And your brand defines you.

Most of us have tried one or two in the course of growing up. We’ll look at four – Tennis, badminton, Jai Alai (because it sounds exotic), and my fave, squash.


Tennis can get you up every morning. It can be quite habit forming. A cool edge you can get in tennis is practicing at the wall by yourself. In this it is similar to squash. I’m no expert in tennis though.

Tennis is classy and social. It can do a lot for you. You get an increase in aerobic fitness, agility, discipline, competitiveness, confidence, strength, tone, and coordination. These are good skills for especially kids to have. On the social side, tennis builds a sense of belonging, community, and commitment.

Tennis also really burns calories. Mentally, keeping up with your opponent spikes your problem solving skills. Playing matches also gives you mental strength & focus. Keeping fit off court will also help to give you endurance on court.

I haven’t played in a while. But the sport is good cardio exercise. It is good for your legs, thighs, back, abs, sides and arms. You also need some agility to be able to chase that ball around and get ready for your next swing. Tennis can become a nice habit that you can do at the end of your day, or during if you have a flexi schedule.

What I love most about the sport, I guess, is that it is outdoors. In this, it trumps squash, my favourite. Outdoor squash court anyone? The deluge of fresh air during a high intensity workout is intoxicating. Breathing in those extra kilos of oxygen helps tremendously in slimming you down and toning you nicely. Also the nice dresses and skorts, as they say!


Racket sports seem to have a lot in common, especially the muscles of the body that they tend to work. Also you need to get fitness off court in order to play effectively.

Badminton is one of those sports that many of us will try when we are young or whatever (like tennis), and maybe forget about. But it is a joyous sport to play, loads of fun. You get out of it cardio fitness, a cool new skill and a sport under your belt, and a great all-over body workout and elation for the session that you play. Go for it!

Jai Alai

Jai Alai is a sport that originated in Basque Spain, and is slightly similar to squash in that it is played against walls, in this instance 3 walls. The game is played by players throwing and catching a ball bounced from the walls. Jai Alai is characterized by the extremely high speeds of the balls used in the game.

The game is a popular gambling and spectator sport, and is popular in countries such as Mexico, Spain, Indonesia, Egypt and Florida State in the US.

I’ll always be biased about squash as I love it so much. If you want an obsessive sport that you can play daily and lose lots of weight, squash is it. This sport is a drug and gives you a high that is actually addictive – I am not kidding. Just visit your local squash club and listen to the players talking aglow about their sport.

Squash is a premium sport. It is also very classy. It makes me feel like a dancer, and energetic, youthful and confident.

All is quiet about the calorie-burning capacity and slimming effect of squash. I wonder why. Maybe squash players are quiet.

In taking on a sport, what is really important in my books is live experience by the athletes who do the sport, who tell all about what it’s like to do the sport, their enthusiasm for it, and what it does to them. The most primary thing is to get a sport that you can revel in, and that can keep you wanting to come to the court everyday. Squash is addictive like that.

Squash uses similar racket bags to that of tennis, which are important labelers for each player. The sport has so many perks that it is difficult to do them justice here.

To learn more about squash and the wonderful effects it can have on your psyche and your body, plus some tips on general exercise, stretching, breathing, eating and drinking healthily, check out the ebook “How to teach yourself squash, lose weight, and get a spring in your step.”

© Sebueng Lebona

Please click here to go and buy the book

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