Ping Pong is popular the world over, but most people who play it think they’re just playing to have fun. Many don’t realize that there are actually many health benefits to playing table tennis. It is a fast-paced sport that can be a great way to get into better shape. You might be surprised at just how many calories you can burn off during a single game of table tennis.
Table tennis is often thought of as a fun, casual sport, but it’s much more competitive and demanding than people think. The benefit of table tennis are plenty, so let’s take a look at some of the them.
Table Tennis Health Benefits
Improved hand-eye coordination
You have to be fast to play table tennis, and you have to be able to hit the ball. This means that you have to have good hand-eye coordination. Even if yours is not great at first, the more you play, the better it is going to get.
Improved mental acuity
They say that doing puzzles improves mental acuity. Well, so does playing table tennis, and it can help improve your brain’s sharpness if you are into puzzles. You are playing a high-speed game, and the speed and where the ball is placed at any given moment during the game is going to help to develop and improve mental acuity.
Often, people who are into puzzles are also great at table tennis because they already have these skills, and playing the game makes them even better at puzzles. Plus, it also helps to improve your concentration, mental alertness, and it teaches you to use better tactical strategies against opponents. This is a great sport for older people, as it helps to improve agility and mental alertness.
The more often you play table tennis, the better your reflexes are going to be. This is a fast-paced game, and it helps to improve big and small muscle movements, thereby improving the reflexes as well. You will have muscle development that allows you to react before you even think, which will not only help with the game but also with many other things in your daily life.
Fewer joint injuries
If you have had problems with your knees, back, ankles, and wrists, table tennis may be a great form of physical therapy for you. This game can help to improve the strength in your arms and legs, as well as the core, without causing a lot of stress on your joints as can happen with other sports.
You will find yourself able to do other things easier because you won’t be affected by as many joint injuries as you would if you were out running, playing other sports, etc. Read more on the common injuries that table tennis players will get and how to avoid them.
Any type of physical activity can help when you are trying to lose weight because you will be burning calories. Don’t think of table tennis as you would other table games that don’t burn calories.
So what is the total amount of calories burned playing ping pong? Many people don’t realize it, but someone weighing around 150 pounds can burn as many as 272 calories, just by playing a couple of games of table tennis (one hour of playing time). Even better, this is a great way to burn calories while having lots of fun.
Improved cognitive awareness
It has been scientifically proven that playing table tennis can help to improve both motor skills and cognitive awareness. Many studies show that playing this game can help to increase blood flow to the brain. This not only can help you to think more clearly, but it might even be a way to stall or even prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Improved overall coordination
Not only does playing table tennis help to improve hand-eye coordination, but it can also help to improve your overall coordination. You will constantly be watching the ball, following its path as it’s hit toward you. So, you will need to have the coordination to be able to hit it back. You may not be too great at it in the beginning, but if you start playing regularly, you are likely going to notice a huge difference in your coordination, even in everyday life.
In order to be really good at the game, you need to have balance. The more you play, the better your balance is going to be. You need to be able to change directions quickly in this game, and for that, balance is necessary. Even if you don’t have the greatest balance to begin with, playing table tennis regularly is going to improve that. If you want more info on this, read our table tennis tips guide.
You will begin to notice that your balance is better with everything you do in life as well.
There are two ways that table tennis can help to stimulate your brain. For starters, you have to anticipate the other player’s shots, and for this, you will be using the prefrontal cortex that lets you plan your moves strategically.
Then, there is the aerobic exercise you get from table tennis. This is going to help to stimulate the hippocampus. This is the part of the brain that helps you to learn things and retain what you’ve learned, so you will have a much better memory.
Make new friends
Playing any type of game is a great way to meet people and make new friends. Whether you are playing with a group of friends, or you have found a group to play with at a local community center, you are getting a great opportunity to meet new people, and to bond with them, not to mention increased bonding with the friends you already have who also play. This is a great way to build relationships, and it is also a great way to bring young and old people together, and then they can learn from one another.
Why Play Table Tennis?
For all the reasons stated here and more! The health benefits of playing table tennis are clear. One of the advantages of tables tennis is that it can be done from home, with little set up time. Remember to set some time out for table tennis warm up exercises before though, as they’ll help prevent injuries.
If you are considering taking up table tennis, go for it! This is a great way to challenge yourself, both mentally and physically, and it is also a great way to get out there and be more social. It makes getting into it something that would be good for everyone, as it’s far a more accessible sport than most.