Tennis and the Battle of the Bulge

Do you lead a sedentary lifestyle? Does your work revolve around data entry or computer access, and you find that you have a candy jar or chocolate bar on your desk as you work? If you step on a scale, do you do so slowly, and in the hope of not jarring the scale any more than necessary? If so, the odds are good that you are an average American carrying a few too many extra pounds around the midsection and hips. Weight loss might be on your mind, and in some cases you may be a serial dieter, losing weight only to pile it right back on. Missing in action is exercise, but thus far you have not found a sport or recreational activity that appeal to you.

Have you considered enlisting tennis in your battle of the bulge? Sure, gyms are trying to sell you on aerobics as being uniquely able to burn fat stored in the body. Unfortunately, some dieters do not appreciate the exercises, and find them to be somewhat repetitive and devoid of meaning. Much like running, these weigh loss hopefuls are seeing aerobics as the kind of exercise you do for its own sake, accomplishing little, but sweating in the process. Tennis, on the other hand, increases body heat, melts the fat away, and does so in an enjoyable environment. Moreover, as dieters are shedding pounds and getting better at the game, whole new vistas of play opportunities open up. This is a benefit that you might not find with other sports.

It is noteworthy that prior to completely understanding the impact tennis has on stored body fat it is high time to take a look at fat itself. Fat, as you may know, is made up of a variety of different substances, all of which are intended to keep the human body alive and well, no matter what kind of weather conditions may occur or even if there should be a time when food is not as plentiful. This is why the human body has so many places where can be stored. Of course, in the United States there is rarely a food shortage, and body fat accumulates without much need to remain. Adding insult to injury is the fact that the American diet is laden with fat, and it makes sense that so many residents have multiple chins, wide hips, a large gut, and various other places where the fat is accumulating.

When dieters are engaging in exercise, such as tennis, the increased oxygen intake provides supplemental strength to the lungs and also the heart, and thereby helps to set up the body for a period of physical exertion. During this time, fat becomes the fuel that must be burned to keep the muscles moving, the heart pumping, and the lungs expanding. Since tennis provides periods of rest as well as periods of strenuous exercise, the obese player maintains a steady need for fuel, and once the easy to reach fat reserves are pretty much depleted, the body will tap into the stores that are harder to reach and also harder to shed. Usually this takes place after 20 minutes of continuous play or 30 minutes of intermittently strenuous game play.

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