Judy Murray’s exercise hacks

It’s tennis season, with Wimbledon around the corner and Benenden has joined up with the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) to run a series of Benenden Tennis Festivals up and down the country this June and July. So who better to champion the benefits of tennis and keeping fit than Judy Murray?

As well as mother to champions Jamie and Andy, she is a former player herself. Murray amassed 64 tennis titles in her native Scotland before briefly turning professional. She’s coached many players at regional and national level as part of the Lawn Tennis Association’s programmes and is founder of the Tennis on the Road initiative to take the sport to schools throughout Britain. She also devised the Miss-Hits programme to involve young girls in sport.

“I am passionate about the value of exercise, particularly for children,” says Murray. “There is an upsurge in child obesity. I believe we can combat this and give children a better life by encouraging them to take up sport, or even just a form of exercise.

“A healthy kid has much more chance of becoming a healthy adult. Most importantly, it should be fun.”

Judy Murray’s fitness for all:

1 Make it fun

“Play with your children. This does not need expensive equipment. Try to make up games that involve co-ordination and exercise that can be played indoors on rainy days. You can use cushions, soft balls or whatever else takes your fancy to engage the kids. You will be surprised at how much you enjoy it.”

2 Exercise anywhere

“I spend a lot of time on the road so I can’t commit, say, 40 minutes to working out at the gym every day. I have to take my exercise where I can get it. If I am at home, I will stand on my tiptoes to stretch my calves while I am stirring a pot. When I am on the road, I will pack my skipping ropes. These don’t take up much room and can be used in hotel rooms or wherever. Skipping is high-intensity training. I love it.”

3 Set targets

“If you are in the house and doing exercises, you can say to yourself ‘I am going to stand on one leg for five minutes’. It is harder than it sounds and produces results. Or you can decide to go for a brisk walk for an hour. You will be surprised at how much further you can go in an hour after a few days.”

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