Ah, ping pong! Ping pong is a great game, for just about anybody. Don’t believe it? Ping pong or table tennis as it is referred to in many parts of the world is played by approximately 300 million individuals all over the world, which makes it one of the most popular sports.
Ping pong has been an Olympic sport from as far back as 1988. Since its advent, it has grown by leaps and bounds to become both a competitive and social sport. So much so, that hip and fun ping pong joints and hangouts have mushroomed in many urban centers, which has helped to further advance the sport.
It’s not hard to see why ping pong has advanced so much over the years. Ping pong is one of those sports that are suitable for everyone- beginners, the elderly, people with disabilities. It also has a relatively low injury risk, which is why it is so inclusive. Best of all, it works well as a boozy bar game, which is great news for all adults everywhere.
Ping pong is also what experts call a brain sport. What this means is that it has a good mix of strategy, aerobics, coordination, and agility- which are all the ingredients needed to make a great and healthy mind.
The idea that gathering around a ping pong table could actually be exercise might have seemed ludicrous in the early 20th century. Some people might even still perceive it as mostly a casual game rather than a serious sport. However, that’s where the beauty of ping pong lies.
Owing to its simple premise and variable pace, ping pong is both a casual activity and a serious sport. This means that it is accessible to players that are looking for a slow sport but doing it regularly also allows one to enjoy the benefits of exercise.
Need more reasons to start playing ping pong? Here are 5 health benefits of playing ping pong:
Ping pong can do wonders for your brain
Any physical activity that gets blood pumping throughout the entire body is good. However, ping pong is particularly good for you because it is as mentioned earlier, a brain sport. What this means is that it trains your body to perform and adapt to many different situations.
There is a lot that happens to your brain during a ping pong match. According to neuroscientists, the one immediate thing that occurs when you play ping pong is an automatic mood boost.
And this not just specific to ping pong- any aerobic activity will give you a boost because it increases the neurotransmitters that work on decreasing depression, stress, and anxiety. Neurotransmitters are vital chemicals that are useful in regulating different brain functions as well as hormones such as dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.
There are numerous long-term perks as well. Ping pong has been shown to impact your motor cortex, which is the outer part of the brain that lights up every time you take part in any voluntary activity or movement. It also affects your cerebellum, which is essential for motor control.
Ping pong will improve your reflexes
The more regularly that you play ping pong, the better your reflexes are going to be. As you may already know, ping pong is a very fast-paced game that helps to improve all the muscles in your body, big and small. By developing your muscles, you will be able to react to situations even before you think, which will help you in many areas of your life, not just with the game.
Above all, the cliché holds even for ping pong- the more you practice, the better you become. Reflexes tend to be an involuntary response, which means that you need to build your muscle memory to make those reactions come as second nature to you. If you don’t put in the work, sadly, you won’t see the results that you expect.
Regular play will lead to fewer injuries
If you’ve been complaining about problems with your knees, ankles, wrists, or back, ping pong could be just what you need to get you back to form. Ping pong works all the muscles in your body, which means that it will not only help to strengthen your arms and legs but also your core without causing too much stress on your joints. With fewer injuries, you will find it a lot easier to carry out labor-intensive activities as well as more intense sports.
Shed the weight
A high-speed match of ping pong is not only highly entertaining and addictive, but it is also one of the easiest ways to burn extra calories. An intense match can burn as many as 270 calories while improving your cardiovascular system and your overall fitness.
The best thing about playing ping pong is that you can take part without worrying about any risk of injury. In ping pong, players only use a small ping pong paddle (very good summary of various options on pingpongetc.com) to toss the ball back and forth; no heavy equipment. As such, you can indulge in fast calorie-burning movements without worrying about straining your joints excessively.
Ping pong is social
Perhaps one of the best things about ping pong is that it is an extremely social sport. Whether you are catching a game with family and friends in your backyard, at a ping pong bar, or your local community center, you can be sure of one thing- that you will always have a good time.
Because it is open to all sorts of players young or old, it can help you beat social anxiety, improve communication, as we well as help you build relationships and repair broken ones. Playing at home among family and friends is also easily one of the best ways to create a family bonding experience.
It doesn’t matter whether you are trying it for the first time, returning to ping pong after a long but much-deserved hiatus or are simply looking to add something new to your regular workout routine, you can’t go wrong with ping pong.
Ping pong’s appeal is slowly growing in many parts of the world. No matter where you go, ping pong is viewed as an amazing sport that can be played by anyone. If you do decide to take it up, remember to enjoy yourself- that’s the only way you’re going to make it truly count.