Table Tennis is The World's
Best Brain Sport!
Worldwide millions of people play table tennis, and with good reason. It is entertaining, fun, fast and has great health benefits as well. Because of the low risk of injury table tennis can be enjoyed by people of all ages and fitness levels. When played regularly it improves reflexes, hand-eye coordination and balance, while toning and strengthening the core muscles, upper and lower body. It’s great for working up a sweat and increasing your heart rate, thus helping to keep your heart strong and healthy.
Not only is it a good cardiovascular exercise, it is also a great aerobic workout. When running about the table your heart rate increases and your body’s requirement for oxygen becomes much higher, therefore you breath heavier, faster and deeper, which increases lung capacity in addition to how efficiently your lungs use oxygen.
As well as being a fantastic physical work out, table tennis is also a great mental work out. You have to plan strategies and decide what spin to put on the ball, whilst trying to stay one step ahead of your opponent and react to the shots they are playing all at the same time.
Decisions have to be made in split seconds, this increases concentration levels, short term memory and decision making ability. All this mental exercise boosts hormone levels and keeps the brain young, which can slow the progress of cognitive decline that occurs with ageing. It is also a sport that is good for social bonding, with its friendly but competitive nature, it can be enjoyed at your local club where you can meet with new people and form lasting friendships. It can also be played at home as a great way to spend more quality time together and bring the family closer.
Here are the Top 10 Health Benefits of Table Tennis
- Playing improves hand-eye coordination and it stimulates mental alertness, concentration and tactical strategy. This makes it the perfect game for young people to sharpen reflexes, and for older people to refine tactics.
- Develops mental acuity. The speed, spin and placement of the ball are crucial in table tennis, and practiced players are highly skilled in both creating and solving puzzles involving these three attributes.
- Improves reflexes. Due to the fast-paced, short-distance nature of the sport, both gross and fine muscle movements are improved. The game is distinguished by bursts of exertion and recovery, leading to fast-twitch muscle development.
- It’s easy on the joints. Have you had knee surgery, back problems, tired of twisting your ankles? Try table tennis. It’s a great way to improve your leg, arm and core strength without overtaxing your joints.
- Burns calories. A 150-pound person can burn 272 calories by playing table tennis for an hour. Considering the fact that the sport is entertaining and addictive, it can be a fun and easy way to burn calories.
- Offers a social outlet. Whether you play in the community center or at home with friends, table tennis offers a great way to bond with other people while you lose weight. Because young and old people can play the game, it can help improve communication and build relationships, irrespective of age. Playing at home with siblings or parents can bring family members closer and enable them to spend more quality time with each other.
- Keeps your brain sharp. Alzheimer’s Weekly reports a clear increase in motor skills and cognitive awareness from playing table tennis, after a series of preliminary clinical studies in Japan found that table tennis markedly increases the flow of blood to the brain, and could possibly even prevent dementia.
- Improves coordination. Following the ping pong ball as it moves quickly toward you, and following its trajectory as your opponent hits it helps improve hand-eye coordination.
- Improves balance. Staying balanced and being able to quickly change direction are key to being successful in a ping pong rally. This is especially important for the elderly.
- Stimulates various different parts of the brain. By anticipating an opponent’s shot, a player uses the prefrontal cortex for strategic planning. The aerobic exercise from the physical activity of the game stimulates the hippocampus, the part of the brain that is responsible for allowing us to form and retain long-term facts and events.