Often we find ourselves unsure of what and how to choose a fitness program suitable for our age and ability level. What used to work for me once I was 20 years old is not longer helping me to stay in shape. On the tennis courts the movements are fast and slow - it all depends on how well your body still moves and how quickly you can anticipate the ball.

Probably the greatest single contribution to mainstream athletics during the 1980's was the concept of cross-training. This allows athletes to train in other sports while still improving in their own area. In other words, athletes are now able to train in a secondary sport and still benefit in their primary sport.
Therefore to be able to keep moving efficiently on the tennis court you would need to include four specific workouts in your cross-training regardless of your age.

Anaerobic Conditioning: This workout will assist you to play longer in a match because it includes short sprints and short recovery time. You can do this training on the tennis court on a regular basis so you train your body to periods of bursts energy followed by few seconds recovery. Remember that the average point can last between 4 to 30 seconds as lately established in this year US OPEN with longer rallies recorded. Three times a week.

Aerobic Training: With this workout we build our endurance so we are able to finish those long 3 or 5 sets matches. I personally dedicate 20 to 40 minutes by using a stationary bike, elliptical machine and sometimes jogging on a treadmill. To prevent boredom I also, actually split the total time allocated for this workout in 10 minutes and use all three or four fitness equipment. I find this way of training more entertaining and more fun than just been on one fitness machine only the entire time. Three times a week.

Plyometrics Training: Plyometric exercise use explosive movements to develop muscular power. It acts on the nerves muscles and tendons to increase an athlete's power output without necessarily increasing their maximum strength. This type of training is used to increase the speed or force of muscular contractions, often with the goal of increasing the height of a jump.
However, a low-intensity variations of plyometrics are frequently utilized in various stages of injury rehabilitation, indicating that the application of proper technique and safety precautions can make this training safe and effective for most populations. At least once a week.

Multidirectional Exercises: Because while on the tennis court you are constantly moving side to side, back and forward, your body requires good balance in order to get to the ball and execute your shot efficiently. The most common injury is spraining your ankles and so to prevent it it's imperative that you do exercises which will improve speed and agility with strength and quick balance recovery. Examples of these type of exercise are: the cone drill, the crazy ball etc.. Do this training regularly and you will strengthen the muscles around the knees and hips, which are critical for older players. Three times a week.

Exercise is a must for everyone at every level of fitness but in the right amounts and according to your individual requirements. If you are in your 20's and 30's then incorporate more drills exercises which require high intensity level and for those of 40's and beyond I advice to focus on more lower-impact exercises such a stationary bikes, fast walking or light jogging.

Today, instead than rating myself on how much I can do or how fast I can go, I rate myself on how much I can do with how little effort.
My focus is to use my body more efficiently and rejuvenating it along the way.
Finally I woud like to invite you to take the Health Assessement to establish what your body needs for optimal performance and fast recovery.
Click here: www.nataliediroma.usana.com

Author's Bio: 

Natalie Diroma is a Certified Fitness Therapist and Certified Tennis Professional/Consultant USPTA-P1 and PTR-P1)for over 20 years.
She is a Conscious Body Coach.
Natalie's resourceful web sites are: www.tennis-mind-training.com and www.nataliediroma.usana.com