Ping pong is a great way to spend some time with your friends and family. Anyone can get involved and is sure to get a smile on everyone’s face. It’s also a great activity for getting some exercise and improving mental health.
As with other sports, table tennis requires both mental and physical skills. It stimulates the entire body and helps to keep you fit, while keeping the risk of injury to a minimum.
Here is how playing ping pong helps with brain health and keeps your body healthy.
1. Improves Hand-Eye Coordination
Playing ping pong requires you to pay attention at all time. If you don’t, the ball will fly past and you’ll quickly lose the game. The game ensures you stay alert and can react appropriately when it’s your shot.
Also, you have control over where you hit the ball. Depending on where you place your bat, you can direct it left, right, down the center, long or short. Of course, you need to actually hit the ball.
All of these factors help to improve your hand-eye coordination. The more you practice, the more control over the play and these skills can translate to everyday life.
2. Better Reflexes
Ping pong plays at a fast pace. The table is quite short too so you’re constantly reacting to how your opponent takes their shot. You need to be on your toes and ready to make the right shot.
Plus, if your opponent makes a mistake by hitting it long, you’ll be able to judge it better as time goes on, improving your ability to know when to react and when to leave it be.
It will also help strengthen fine muscle movements. Those quick bursts may make you feel a bit sore at first but the more you play, the stronger you’ll become.
3. Easy on The Joints
Some people aren’t able to move as freely as others. For example, they could be coming off an injury or surgery, have a history with a bad back, bad knees, or even people that don’t want to twist their ankle every time they step on the field.
Instead, all you need to do is control your end of the table. The rallies, like the tables, tend to be short so the amount of movement required is limited.
That doesn’t mean you won’t burn any calories though, which leads to the next point…
4. Burns Calories
Don’t like going to the gym, running on the treadmill for hours or around the block? Try ping pong instead. You’ll soon find that you’ll work up a sweat, especially if you play in the warm weather.
Even if you play indoors, make sure you have a drink of water nearby. You’ll be thankful for it after you’ve played a few games.
Plus, you’ll be burning calories. Getting some movement in your daily routine is really important for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Check out this list of ping pong tables now. Pick one up, put your trainers on, grab a paddle and start playing.
5. Get Social
Interacting with others is really important for mental health and overall wellness. People in the modern world spend a lot of their time looking at some form of electronic device, scrolling through social media, playing video games, and so on. However, the result ends up with feeling more disconnected.
Table tennis allows you to put down the device and actually be with another person. There’s nothing like having actual contact with friends and family. It leads to laughter, joy and overall feeling happy.
With depression on the rise among young people, in particular, a game of ping pong is a great way to bring everyone together, let your hair down and just enjoy yourself.
6. Keeps the Brain Sharp
Don’t just take our word for it.
Dr Daniel Amen, an expert in psychiatry and brain-imaging, has previously described ping pong as “the world’s best brain sport”. This is because it requires you to use your lower body to move around the table, your upper body to adjust and hit the ball, and improves hand-eye coordination and reflexes as described above.
Playing table tennis also uses several areas of the brain at the same time. After all, you must track the ball with your eyes, figure out what you’re doing to do next, adjust to what your opponent is doing, and so on.
7. Treatment for Dementia
Dementia is a degenerative disease that, according to an article by the BBC dementia poses one of the greatest health challenge of all. The main symptoms of dementia are memory loss, change in personality and behavior, feeling lost in a familiar environment and not being able to string a sentence together,
But ping pong is being used to treat people suffering from dementia. The Sport and Art Educational Foundation began to use table tennis therapy for seniors showing early signs of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
Since table tennis activates the brain in several areas, they will be stimulating their entire state of awareness.
These kinds of initiatives are amazing. Who knew that playing such a fun yet simple activity can have such a dramatic impact on mental health?
8. Improved Balance
You must have good balance to play table tennis well. This is because you must be able to change direction quickly and get from one side of the table to the other before the ball bounces twice.
As you play more regularly, you will find an improvement in your overall balance. You’ll feel more comfortable in quick movements and understand where to place your body to make the right shot.
There are all sorts of health benefits of playing ping pong. You can build up your strength, improve your speed and have better balance without putting your body at serious risk.
But it goes beyond your physical capabilities. Ping pong is great for keeping your mind active and improving mental health. The next time you plan a party with your friends, ensure you have enough bats for everyone to get involved.
Article Submitted By Community Writer