According to a Forbes Magazine survey involving consultations with personal trainers, exercise psychologists and coaches, squash was ranked the first, among the top 10 healthiest sports. Rowing cam a close second, followed by rock climbing and swimming.
For people looking to lose weight without slaving at a gym, an hour of intense activity on the squash court burns an average of around 800 calories. At the same time, it also improves stamina and strength.
People who play squash regularly understand the leg stability as well as core and upper back strength built from hitting winners on the squash court. Combining hard physical activity with the mental strategy required to out-think an opponent, makes squash what many like to refer as playing “chess on legs”.
Flexibility and agility are two important aspects of fitness which are often overlooked because most people focus on improving muscle strength and cardiovascular endurance. Playing squash develops flexibility and agility while improving your overall fitness levels.
Few sports help in developing hand-eye coordination while improving flexibility and agility, in the way playing squash does. Improved hand-eye coordination reduces reaction time making you very dexterous.
Squash injury rates are much less than other sports. Most injuries in squash occur due to improper movement, overuse, or when players fall.
The start and stop nature of squash requires a few precautions to be taken, before stepping on to the court. If you are over 40 years old, overweight or haven’t exercised for some time, it’s important to get a health check before stepping onto a squash court.
Warming up before a game of squash, stretching the leg muscles and cooling down once the game is over will help you avoid aches and pains. Most people drip with sweat, minutes after they begin playing and it’s important to replenish fluid loss by drinking plenty of water.
Invest in a pair of quality shoes with good grip and ankle support. To add an extra layer of protection you may what to consider wearing eye protection as there have been instances of eye injury resulting from a squash ball hitting the eye.
To get the most health benefits from squash and avoid injury, it’s important to use the correct technique which can be acquired by paying for a few squash lessons from a coach. You will improve your game, have more fun, get fit and stay safe.
See our infographic to read more about how squash can help you stay active!