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Table tennis is a popular option for adults interested in building cardiovascular and muscular health. The game also offers opportunities to spend time with family and friends while getting daily exercise.
Table tennis originated in England as a popular, indoor game. Also known as Ping Pong, a variation of table tennis was developed by British military officers while on duty in India. The first versions of the game were composed of a row of books on a table as a net and two other books as rackets. The book “rackets” were used to swat a golf ball back and forth across the “net.” The name Ping Pong was trademarked in the early 1900s.
Why Should You Exercise?
You may have been told exercise is good for you, but do you know why? Next to a healthy diet and sufficient sleep, exercise is the single most important thing you can do for your health. Exercise can help prevent health problems including:
The benefits of exercise are especially important for adults middle-aged and older. Whether you’re playing doubles or singles, table tennis can be a fast-paced competitive sport. In fact, when played at an intense rate, it can be a great way to burn calories and get fit.
Top 10 Health Benefits of Table Tennis:
Playing improves hand-eye coordination and 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 work out.
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 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 table tennis 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.
Warm Up and Relieve Sore, Tight Muscles After a Workout
Spending a significant amount of time on a game such as table tennis can leave muscles feeling sore and tight. To help prevent this discomfort, be sure to warm up before beginning the game. The main goal of a warm-up routine is to prepare the muscles for activity.
A warm-up should consist of a light activity, which uses the muscles you’re about to engage in the sport. To help prepare your body, consider using Super Blue Stuff OTC. Super Blue Stuff is an all-natural topical pain relief cream that can increase circulation to the areas where it is applied. It can also be used after exercise to help prevent pain following the exertion of a game.
Synthetic painkillers can be harmful to your body and fail to reach the root of the problem. Natural pain relief, such as Super Blue Stuff, can help decrease the risk of injury by providing a healthy warm-up ointment and improve your experience of the game while playing. Applying it at the end of the game will aid in relieving sore muscles and joints. The lightweight cream never leaves a greasy feel behind. Instead it absorbs deeply into the skin, going straight to problem area and leaving you feeling better, often in as fast as five minutes!