Racquet Sports: The Perfect Staycation Activity
There’s no question about it; summertime is our favorite season. The days are longer, ice cream is an acceptable food group, and everyone feels better with a tan. It’s also the perfect time to learn a new skill or hobby—especially while you’re enjoying a leisurely staycation at home!
Although they can be played year-round, racquet sports are a great summertime activity because they combine the thrill of friendly competition with fresh air and sunshine. On the surface these sports might appear to be very similar, but there are distinct differences among the styles of racquets, sizes of balls, court dimensions, and overall gameplay.
Tennis is arguably the most popular racquet sport with roots dating back to the 11th century. The game can be played indoors or outdoors on courts ranging from clay, grass, carpet, or hard material. Players take turns serving to the opposite side of the court and rallying back and forth to keep the ball within the confines of the court lines. A typical match lasts from one to two hours and burns an average of 400 – 600 calories per hour, in addition to developing key muscles, strength, and coordination. Tennis is largely known as a strategy game and also has many mental benefits including stress management, sportsmanship, and improved team dynamics.
Racquetball attracts players with its fast pace and exciting rallies. The game is played indoors within the confines of a four-walled racquetball court. Racquetball works nearly every major muscle group in the body and burns an average of 640 – 822 calories per hour. A fast-paced game necessitates the player to run approximately 3,650 feet (just over two miles) in one hour. Players will also experience high-level heart rate activity and quick bursts of energy throughout the game. Just don’t forget to wear eye protection!
Since its inception in the 1960’s, pickleball has rapidly been increasing in popularity around the United States. This sport combines the elements of badminton, tennis and table tennis for a low impact benefit that players of all ages and abilities can enjoy. The game is played with a hard paddle, wiffle ball, and low net on a badminton-sized court.
Voted the number one healthiest sport by Forbes Magazine, squash combines athleticism with strategic play and has enthusiasts around the world. The game is played on a four-walled court by two or four players. Individuals take turns hitting the ball against the front wall and rallying until the ball is out of play, double bounces, hits a player, or interference occurs.
Each of these sports attracts a wide demographic from young children learning how to properly swing, to retirees who are looking to stay active and social as they age. Try your hand at each to find which sport you enjoy the most and get into the swing of things this summer!