Health Benefits of Squash



Squash might not be the first thing you think about when you are considering new ways to get yourself fit, and it might not be something you have ever tried.  Played inside a hard court using the back wall, squash is a racket based game that has some surprising health benefits that you might not have even considered.


Cardio Health


A game of squash moves faster than you might imagine.  The small hard ball travels quicker than a tennis ball and players are required to move at a pace to stand a chance of being in the right place.  Your opponents job is to make you work, as obviously they want to win so you might find yourself diving for the ball, running to get to the right side of the court and jumping if the ball has gone high.  All of these things are going to raise your heart rate which in turn assist with your cardiovascular health.


A Good Weight Control


All that running around and moving to try and get to the ball is also going to be a great way to help control your weight.  Burning calories and working up a sweat will all add to weight loss, provided of course you are also following a sensible diet.  The more you play squash, the more you will also build hand-eye coordination, and the benefits of weight a few less pounds will be evident as you find it easier to get to the ball and make the more tricky shots.


Strength Training


While you might not actively be lifting weights, you will find that playing squash regularly will also add to your overall strength and flexibility.  Your own body weight acts as resistance, but you will also be moving your arms and legs in new ways.  This means that muscles get stretched and worked.  The first few times you play, you will find that you are sore and stiff the next morning, but after a while, the benefits to your flexibility will be evident.  Because you are regularly reaching for the ball your back will also be stronger and your posture better.


Releasing Stress


When you are absorbed in playing the game, you will need to have a high level of concentration.  This means that you will have to leave your stress in the locker room as you cannot worry about things while you are playing.  When you are intensively using the body, you are also releasing feel-good chemicals that release stress and intensify feelings of happiness.   The more we can lower our stress the more we will benefit from a sense of overall wellbeing.


So if you have never tried squash, why not give it a go.  There are courts at most leisure centres, and many places offer trial sessions, and you can usually borrow the equipment needed.  All you will need is loose fitting clothing like shorts and tee shirts so that you can move quickly.  To avoid injury be sure to warm up with some stretches before you start and again at the end as your muscles cool down.