When you think of sports, table tennis rarely comes up among the first three options. You will probably think about the likes of basketball, football, and soccer before table tennis. Also known as whiff-whaff or ping pong, table tennis is relatively unpopular as a competitive sport. However, most people like playing because it offers excitement. It is common in health centers, youth clubs, workplaces, and schools. Apart from being a fun way to spend your time with friends and family, table tennis has many benefits to both physical and mental health. Like any other sport, it offers social interaction, aerobic exercise, and mind to body stimulation. It is also a helpful sport for patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s. One of its advantages is that it has a relatively low risk of injury, unlike most sports. Here are some of its essential benefits.
1. It stimulates the brain
Table tennis is believed to be therapeutic and boosts brain function. It is one of the best brain sports in the world. This is because it stimulates various parts of the brain simultaneously. Apart from stimulating mental alertness, players are required to be skilled in creating and solving puzzles. Players are required to estimate the placement, speed, and spin of the ball hence requiring fast decision making. Additionally, it is a highly aerobic sport that requires the coordination of the lower and upper body. This means that depending on the opponent, the game can be intense or ruthless. This stimulates the hippocampus, which is essential in creating and maintaining information.
2. It improves coordination
Individuals who have witnessed a professional table tennis tournament would agree that the sport does not offer much to see. This is because professional players are too good and usually hit the ball too fast to keep track. Table tennis as a professional sport requires massive focus. For this reason, the hand to eye coordination of its players is mind-blowing. As you hit the ball back and forth, you need to anticipate the next place the ball will hit. Coordinating your arm to hit the ball in time is an essential skill. Table tennis improves your reflexes, mental alertness, and tactical strategy.
3. It improves brain function
When the brain is stimulated regularly through table tennis exercises, it improves its long-term health and functions. Research has shown that there is a connection between table tennis and heightened cognitive function, awareness, and improved motor skills. A report from Alzheimer’s weekly said that you increase the blood flow to the brain by playing table tennis. This can help in preventing dementia in most cases.
4. It is a form of exercise that burns calories
Like any other sport, table tennis offers moderate-intensity physical exercise. It is an effective way to burn calories while enjoying yourself. Table tennis tends to be addictive for people who have tried it. This is because it builds up excitement by the anticipation of the next move. Additionally, it is a relatively fast-paced game. For this reason, you can get an excellent physical workout from it. Research has shown that a player weighing 155 pounds can burn about 135 calories every half an hour.
5. Helps you socialize
Socializing with others is an integral factor contributing to mental wellness. In a world connected through social media, people are gradually growing apart from each other. Table tennis offers you an option to interact with people and make new friends. Whether you play with your family and friends or in the community center, it is a great way to relieve stress by interacting with other people. It is also great because it has no age limit. Both old and young people can bond and have a good time. Table tennis is an essential sport that improves social skills without risking injury. Whether you like contact sports or not, it is a simple and exciting game to try out.