When you or your children sign up to play tennis with us, our coaches do everything in their power to ensure that we live up to our reputation as the best tennis school in Hong Kong. We tirelessly go over our lesson plans, we incorporate fun games and we make sure that our courts are always kept in top condition.
One thing that we can’t control?
Let’s be honest – it can be uncomfortable playing tennis in the heat…and we all know it gets HOT in Hong Kong, particularly in the summer months.
Although we can’t tame mother nature, a lot of us grew up playing tennis in Australia and can help with a few quick tips for staying cool on the tennis court:
In extreme heat, it is useful to prepare your body prior to hitting the court. Pre-match cold showers, or even ice baths, can help your body deal with hot weather and avoid exhaustion and/or heatstroke. (http://www.bbc.com/news/health-25758278)
Experts suggest avoiding hot food, instead eat cold meals with high water content, as well as icing the body. Try applying ice to the groin or armpits – there are important arteries in these locations. This cools the blood and helps increase blood flow to your muscles.
It is also important to drink lots of (cold) fluids in order to stay hydrated, but more on that later.
WEAR THE RIGHT GEAR
It is generally good practice to wear proper clothing when playing tennis (or any sport), but when it is hot choosing the right apparel is even more important.
Tennis shoes, for example, have soles specifically designed to offset the heat of outdoor courts, while proper athletic socks are much better at dealing with sweat than dressy or casual socks.
For gear, it is best to go with something lightweight and breathable…and also light coloured. There is a reason why the pros typically wear white at Wimbledon and other top tournaments, and that is because it reflects heat, rather than absorbing it.
Hats and visors are great for keeping the sun out of your eyes. Speaking of sun…
Remember the sunscreen, folks! We all know the sun’s UV rays are harmful, but this can be particularly troublesome for recent immigrants and expats in Hong Kong.
DRINK UP…BUT AVOID CAFFEINE
It is important to stay hydrated during hot weather tennis.
The best option is some classic, tried and true H20. Water keeps the body cool and hydrated and has no bad ingredients (assuming it has been properly filtered, of course). Just remember not to drink so much that you get bloated or cramp up.
If you prefer something a bit more flavourful, most vitamin waters and sports drinks are good for physical activities – they sometimes contain a lot of sugar, so be sure to read the label. Same with fruit juices.
Drinking up is important, but only if you are drinking the right stuff. It is best to avoid anything with caffeine (or alcohol). Although caffeine can provide an energy boost, it also encourages urination, which can interrupt your tennis match. More importantly, it promotes water loss, which is not optimal when you are already sweating from the heat.
Caffeine also raises your heart rate, which is unnecessary because tennis will ideally be doing the same thing.
Sun or no sun, we always try to keep tennis in Hong Kong fun for everybody at ATA. Stop by one of our many locations to see for yourself!
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