We know from past experts we've interviewed that some evidence suggests that exercise can increase the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), specifically when it's exercise that is more aerobically intense and in groups. That being said, there are two factors that make workouts safer and reduce the risk of spreading the virus: being outdoors and being physically distanced from other people. That's why playing tennis seems like the perfect form of physical activity right now if courts are open in your area.
Michael Dowse, the CEO and executive director of the United States Tennis Association, told USA Today, "Our sport is conducive to social distancing. Health and safety is paramount and tennis comes second, but once that first box is checked and it's deemed safe, it's the perfect sport for all of us to participate in coming out of this pandemic." The USTA released tips and recommendations for playing tennis safely based off of guidance from the USTA Medical Advisory Group.
A USTA spokesperson confirmed to POPSUGAR that the guidelines were created for recreational play only as opposed to professional matches. Many international matches, like Wimbledon, are canceled, but the US Open is on track so far to take place this summer.
The recommendations from the USTA are meant to help keep tennis players safe. Of course, make sure that courts are open near you before you try to play recreationally. Some key recommendations from the list are as follows:
"The USTA recognizes the evolving and fast-changing nature of this situation and will continue to monitor and assess conditions to make future changes to the guidelines if needed," the spokesperson said. For the full list of recommendations, go to the USTA website.
A few reminders: the CDC has stated that though viral particles can live on surfaces, transmission through respiratory droplets is the main concern for COVID-19 at this time. As experts have advised, if you're able to safely distance yourself from others outside, you can opt out of wearing a mask. However, while working out distanced from people around you, if you want to wear a mask and are comfortable doing so, feel free.
POPSUGAR aims to give you the most accurate and up-to-date information about the coronavirus, but details and recommendations about this pandemic may have changed since publication. For the latest information on COVID-19, please check out resources from the WHO, CDC, and local public health departments.