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When we were offered the chance to try a new sort of tennis-based exercise I was as keen as feature writer Sue, and health editor Janet, to volunteer

Cardio tennis class

Diane (centre) with the rest of her cardio tennis group

The above is how I found myself at 8am on a sunny Tuesday morning, on a court at Westway Sports Centre along with six other, frankly, much fresher looking, tennis enthusiasts. Sadly they also turned out to be far more proficient players than me (though I would say, in my defense, I hadn’t picked up a racket in nearly 10 years). But that’s the great thing about cardio tennis, it doesn’t matter what your skill level is, it’s all about getting your heart rate up (that’s the ‘cardio’ bit) through a fast-paced variety of drills that are aimed at improving your fitness, not necessarily your tennis skills, though obviously your ability with the racket does get a work out along the way.

When I stopped worrying about where my shots were landing (mostly substantially wide of their target but, hey, at least I was consistent!) And concentrated instead on completing each drill requirement, I very quickly started to enjoy myself. It helped that the whole session was accompanied by a selection of suitably up-tempo pop songs blasting out from a speaker at the back of the court, and that Andrew Ambrose, the centre director who was running the training, was relentlessly up-beat and encouraging.

At the end of the hour, which went by in a flash, I had definitely had a thoroughly good workout – as you can see from the pic above. How come all the others look so fresh? I’m looking forward to getting back on court again.

To find out more about cardio tennis and find a local course visit: lta.org.uk