With 2018 now underway, it’s time to step up and “put our money where our mouth is” when it comes to all those fitness resolutions we so recently made. For area residents who are 50 years of age or older, those goals may be more attainable than they seem. Shadow Valley Tennis & Fitness Club currently offers an ideal way for people in this age group to enjoy healthy activity in their 50 and Over Tennis Program.
Offered four days a week at Shadow Valley’s Toledo location, the 50 and Over Tennis Program is open to both men and women, with Women’s Ladder on Mondays, Men’s Ladder on Tuesdays, and Mixed Doubles on Wednesdays and Fridays.
Kari Ewersen, Shadow Valley’s Central Manager, notes that play is completely organized by Shadow Valley staff. Also, the program director does all the scheduling for each player and finds substitutes for those who are unavailable to play. “All you have to do is show up and play three rounds of tennis. We provide the balls, so participants just need to supply their own racquet and wear comfortable clothes conducive to exercise,” she says.
In addition to being a sport that’s easy to learn and fun to play, tennis offers a myriad of health benefits to both body and mind. From a physical standpoint, participants can experience improvement in coordination, agility, balance, and flexibility; strengthening of bone; and reduction in blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It’s also the lowest-impact weight-bearing sport after swimming, which is good for the joints.
Mental benefits can include stress relief as well as improvement in depression, anxiety, and anger. Furthermore, tennis requires tactical thinking, problem solving, and coordination of body parts, which strengthens neural connections and promotes the development of new neurons, thereby improving brain function.
According to Ewersen, playing tennis also burns a respectable number of calories to help participants achieve their weight-management goals. In fact, someone weighing around 150 pounds can burn up to 215 calories in just 30 minutes of doubles play. “We’ve also found that seniors really appreciate the social aspect of tennis. Not only does it get them out of the house, but it also offers an opportunity to develop new friendships that carry on outside our facilities,” she adds.
Though the 50 and Over Tennis Program is oriented toward players at the intermediate level or higher, Ewersen emphasizes that beginners should not let that fact deter them from coming out to try tennis. Through Shadow Valley’s beginner program, Tennis Made Easy, novice players can develop the skills they need in just six weeks.
A Shadow Valley membership is required to participate in the 50 and Over Tennis Program; however, the costs for membership and court usage are both discounted for program participants. The program membership also entitles participants to member rates for all clinics or club activities, charging to a house account, and use of court time at hourly rates.
In addition to being the only club in our area to offer an organized indoor 50 and Over Tennis Program, Shadow Valley offers a fitness center and full-service pro shop at their Maumee location. Plus, during the summer season, program play shifts to the Maumee location’s outdoor facility, which includes Har-Tru clay courts that provide a softer playing surface.
“Tennis is a life-long sport that you can learn at any age, and you only need two to four people to play. Don’t let inexperience discourage you from participating. Whether you’re a seasoned player or total novice, we have a program for you here at Shadow Valley,” Ewersen says. ❦