Racket sports include tennis, badminton, squash or any other sport where you use rackets to hit a ball or shuttlecock to play. They can be played competitively or just for fun and are a great form of physical activity. Depending on the intensity of play, racket sports will count either as moderate or vigorous aerobic activity. They provide weather-proof opportunities for fitness and fun, and work brilliantly for those wanting to get fit with friends, or to compete at local, regional or national level.
Aerobic activities bring benefits such as reduced risk of chronic illnesses including heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. Racket sports can also help you maintain a healthy body weight and reduce your resting blood pressure.
Racket sports do have some muscle strengthening benefits both to the upper body and arms and legs. It can also improve your coordination, balance and general mobility.
To get started you will need an appropriate racket for the type of sport you are going to play, along with appropriate footwear. Sport shops will be able to advise on the best one for you. You don't need to spend a lot of money on equipment particularly if you are a beginner.
Your local community school, gym or leisure centre will most likely have tennis, badminton or squash facilities. Check your local authority or leisure trust website or contact them directly to find out more details. They may even have equipment you can borrow or rent to play with. You can also find local opportunities to play racket sports on the Sportscotland website.
You will need someone to play with so bring a friend or family member, or check for nearby groups that you can join.