How Long You Should Rest Between Tennis Matches
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If you’re looking to begin playing tennis or are an active player who has become exhausted after practice, you may be wondering how long you should rest between tennis matches. Giving your body enough time to recover after high-intensity workouts like tennis prevents short-term and long-term damage to your body. Incorporating regular rest and recovery practices will help your abilities and your health.
During the Game
How often you rest during your game can depend on multiple factors. The first you should consider and hold above all else is how you feel. If you’re in pain or need to step away, do so. However, if you’re training for a competition, incorporating the break limits you will be allowed during the match will prepare you for the experience to come.
If you do step away during the game, take at least one minute to sit down on the tennis court benches provided for precisely this need. Give yourself time to recover your breath and drink water as needed throughout the match. Use this opportunity to take a restroom break in long matches or to stretch and loosen your muscles with special focus on getting the blood moving in your forearms. Proper stretching before and during the match is key to preventing elbow inflammation, also known as tennis elbow.
After the Match
Immediately after a match, your body is beginning the process of recovery from the damage it has received from your intense exercise. Focusing on consuming carbohydrates and protein within a half-hour of the match will assist your muscles in their repair. Continue to hydrate regularly throughout the day, especially on sunny days or when you have a sunburn after playing.
How long you should rest between tennis matches will depend on how frequently you play and how well you refuel your body after a match. As you build up the frequency of your play, you can begin to play more days back-to-back, though it’s still better for you to take two days a week off from tennis to let your body recover. For players with less experience, limiting play to three days a week and supplementing with other, less intense exercises on days off is wise.
Before the Next Match
The day you return to practice, prepare so that you won’t need as much recovery time afterward. Getting adequate rest will keep you mentally alert and physically ready to play. Drinking water two to three hours before you work out will give you enough fluid to sweat without leaving you dehydrated during the match. Finally, eating cautious amounts before a match will give your body a reserve to dip into as you play.
No matter the quality of equipment you bring to the court, maintaining a great game boils down to keeping your body in its best possible condition and respecting the fact that such a highly complex machine needs a break. Be mindful of your limits and pay attention to the signals your body is sending you so that you can enjoy tennis for years to come.