27 Oct 6 Ways To Stay On Top Of Your Tennis Game
By Toby Amidor, MS, RD
This post has been sponsored by Arctic Cool. All opinions are my own.
I have been active my entire life. In high school, I was the captain of the Varsity basketball team, and I worked out regularly in college. Once I had kids, I had a tough time getting back in the swing of things as many busy moms do. I do know that I needed a competitive sport since that’s in my nature, so when my middle daughter was about 3 years old I picked up tennis. I played in clinics and soon after, started playing competitively in the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA) leagues in my area. Starting in the fall, we play indoors in a bubble where the heaters can make it extremely hot. In order to stay on top of my tennis game, however, I found the following to work wonders for me:
Regular Physical Activity
Tennis is rough on my 40+ year old body. The best way to fight my aches and pains is by keeping in shape. Last December, I joined a local gym, and I have a trainer with whom I lift weights weekly. I also practice pilates with my daughter (reformer and mat) between 2-3 times per week, and I make physical activity a regular part of my lifestyle. Last weekend, I took my kids kayaking and take regular 2 miles walks on trails in my area.
During tennis practice I stay hydrated by drinking water. On hot days, I will keep my water in a cooler so it stays cold. If I am at a match on a day where the temperatures are at least 80-degrees then I will bring a sports drink. I have also started playing singles, and I bring two bottles on those match days. I also make sure to drink plenty of water the day before my match and after. I play much better when I go into the match fully hydrated.
When I play tennis on warm days, I overheat rather quickly. I refuse to stop playing tennis on a sweltering day, but found the perfect solution to my problem. I started wearing (pictured above) which is made with a cooling jersey fabric to maximize UV protection, as well as incorporates the exclusive #HydrofreezeX Cooling Technology. The fabric wicks moisture away from my skin and uses its proprietary cooling technology, #HydroFreezeX, (as the material was made from the AC cooling towel) to lower my body temperature. Not only do I use it on hot days, but I love it during the summer when I play outdoor tennis and fall and winter when I play indoors. Their long-sleeve line and children’s line are the perfect complement for outdoor activities it is actually the most comfortable and affordable active wear shirt in my drawer!
They even just came out with headgear: hats, headbands, and children’s apparel… and unisex shorts!
Stay Protected from the Sun
UPF 50+ and SUN PROTECTION:
Artic cool are are UPF 50+ rated, which means that they are perfect for any of my outdoor activities and will protect me from the sun’s harmful rays. The terms UPF and SPF can get confusing, but this post by Artic Cool explains how the fabric actually provides “shade” for its customer.
A UPF rating of 50+ blocks 98% of both UVA and UVB rays. High exposure to UV rays can cause a myriad of health issues like: damaging and aging skin cells, causing wrinkles, sunspots, and burns, and can even cause some forms of skin cancer. UVB rays are stronger than UVA rays, so they can damage the DNA of your skin cells. Most skin cancers are caused by UVB rays. It is crucial to your health to protect yourself from these damaging rays. With Arctic Cool’s UPF 50+ rated shirts, you can be sure that your skin is protected. And even better? The UPF protection will never wash out because it is an inherent characteristic of the fabric.
During matches and long practices, I use my Artic Cool’s Women’s Instant Cooling V-Neck Shirt, which has been a lifesaver. I first discovered the cooling towel when my captain knew I was playing on a 95-degree day and handed it to me. The “coolest” part about the shirts and headbands that my girls and I are wearing is that they were derived from THIS towel. I soaked the towel in water before my match and during the breaks I place the towel on my neck and wrists. The towel instantly cooled my body temperature so I could focus on playing my match.
Plus, I love supporting American companies. Artic Cool is owned and Operated from the U.S. and is the fastest growing fitness apparel on the market today.
After a match I make sure to refuel on both carbohydrates and protein. Carbs replace the muscle glycogen (the storage form of carbohydrates in the body) that was depleted during my match, while protein helps repair damaged muscle tissue. Some of my favorite snacks include Greek yogurt topped with strawberries and cheese and grapes. I also make sure to rehydrate after a match with water to replenish any fluids lost.