(Cover) – EN Fitness & Wellbeing – Summer is coming – and one great way to get you and your family fit while enjoying the sun is to take up tennis.Watching the stars play at Wimbledon or the U.S. Open often inspires people off their couches and onto the court – and the fitness benefits of the game mean it is a fun way to shed the pounds and improve your health.According to Jo Larkin, Sports Physician at Britain’s Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), picking up a racket and taking on family or friends provides a great all-round workout. “Tennis is hugely beneficial for cardio health – the constant movement, quick changes in pace and direction (combining anaerobic and aerobic fitness), makes it one of the most beneficial workouts for the heart,” she tells Cover Media.Jo also says a few sets can help you get in shape as: “Dynamic strength and quick, explosive movements also have total-body sculpting benefits and the sport itself encourages flexibility, since you need to adjust quickly to reach different shots.”Fitness instructor Kristoph Thompson added that players will particularly see an improvement in their endurance abilities. “Tennis also develops the ability to work at high intensity for short periods, known as anaerobic capacity,” he explains. “The average rally lasts around five to seven seconds and consists of lots of short, sharp movements, with up to 25 seconds of rest between each.”For parents, the game is a great opportunity to keep kids engaged and occupied while toning and sculpting your own body beautiful on court.“There’s no better way to get kids active than to get outside and have fun with a racket and ball,” Jo insists. “It’s not about becoming the next tennis superstar; tennis can simply be a great all-round workout.”For those who live in the U.K., one way to get youngsters into the game is the LTA’s Tennis for Kids programme, which since its launch in 2016 has helped 35,000 budding Andy Murrays aged between four and 11 pick up a racket for the first time. The £25 cost of the course, which you can sign up to via the LTA website, includes six sessions, and a kit including a racket, balls and a personalised t-shirt.“We love seeing families playing tennis together as it’s a great game for all generations,” Jo smiles. “It can be rigorous and intense but also allows you to play at your own pace and ability, so why not give it a go?”© Cover Media