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Strengthen your bones through diet

With Wimbledon approaching many of us will find ourselves becoming more interested in the sport and some of us may even take it further by dusting off our racquets and taking to the courts. In 2013 Andy Murray’s Wimbledon triumph saw a huge rise in the number of people taking to tennis courts across the country with London’s Regent’s Park Tennis Centre reporting its busiest day following the event.

For any tennis player the sudden influx of competitions being played means the body can easily come under undue strain, and injuries may occur such as a stress fracture2.

Stress fractures are a common obstacle that many keen tennis players will face especially during training; in fact a stress fracture of the spine is one of the most common injuries within the sport. With 1 in 5 junior tennis players suffering from this type of injury it can be important to improve the strength of your bones3.

This type of injury in tennis is usually the result of increasing training too rapidly, for example 20% of junior players suffer from it, compared to just 7.5% of professional players. A stress fracture is caused by the muscles tiring which causes increased stress to be placed on the bone4. This stress causes tiny cracks in the bone which can be extremely painful and with rest being the only cure it can be an extremely frustrating injury for any tennis player to have3.

 Professional tennis player Andrea Petkovic was forced to withdraw from the Australian Open in 2012 due to a stress fracture in her lumber, after three years of serious injuries she has only just returned to the top 103.

According to nutritionist Sarah Brown bone strength can be improved through diet, for example calcium is essential for maintaining bone mass therefore by consuming dairy products such as milk, yoghurt or cheese you will be helping to improve the health of your bones3.

Others ways to improve your bone health through nutrition include consuming protein as it is a nutrient which is responsible for maintaining bone health (i.e. chicken, fish eggs and dairy) and vitamin D because it enables the body to absorb calcium (i.e. oily fish, milk and fortified cereal).  

So if you’re thinking of taking to the tennis courts this summer consider your diet.

Sources:

  1. Telegraph – Andy Murray’s Wimbledon triumph leads to surge in public participation in tennis
  2. Boobydoo
  3. Tennis Head – Strengthening your bones
  4. Stop Sports Injuries – Tennis Injury Prevention
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