Quick thinking, strategy, good hand-eye coordination and intense physical activity: those are the main characteristics of table ping pong, one of the most beloved sports activities in the world. More than 300 million people around the globe play it, and it has been an Olympic sport since 1988. I’ve always loved it, and I encourage everyone I know to play it because it’s not only entertaining but also perfect for our brain and general well-being.
Several recent studies have scientifically concluded that table tennis keeps our brain fit, which helps prevent dementia – or even the Alzheimer disease. In fact, experts consider ping pong as one of the games with the maximal rate of brain stimulation. Let’s sneak a look at the top benefits of table tennis for our brain:
Playing ping pong increases the blood flow to the brain and reduces the risk of getting dementia especially in people of old age. When playing table tennis, you have to calculate the speed and direction of the ball coming at you in a short time (less than a second), so your brain stays fully engaged.
Specialists say that the more we use our brain, the better it will perform. Playing table tennis stimulates various parts of the brain – especially the ones used during strategic planning or for creating long-term memories. Thus, ping pong helps improve our memory and concentration.
A player needs a lot of mental and physical power to perform well in table tennis; the game requires quick decision-making abilities, precise micro-movements, and excellent hand-eye coordination. Thus, practicing that sport helps in the development of those areas of the brain responsible for motor control.
Playing ping pong stimulates brain neurotransmitters – a group of chemical substances with the role of transmitting signals and messages across the brain. A good activity of those substances reduces the risk of depression; other brain functions benefit from it, such as feelings, memory or stress levels.
Ping pong moves you to adapt quickly to the strategy of your opponent, to spot their weaknesses and continuously think about your (and their) next move. That kind of mental activity improves your decision-making skills – not only when it comes to playing table tennis or other sport, but in every field of your life.
Overall, playing ping pong brings only advantages to any player, no matter the age or the professional level. Another vital aspect to mention is that table tennis is a social game: it involves at least two people, but usually, you play it with several friends or competitors. It creates the perfect opportunity for people to connect and bond. Social networking is also incredibly healthy for our brain, as it keeps us safe from dark thoughts – it protects us from depression or other mental sufferance caused by loneliness.
Also, tennis table is terrific for the body: it improves the heart rate and blood circulation. Plus, it helps you eliminate toxins by sweating a little bit. All those have a significant impact on your brain as well: they will maintain a healthy mind for an extended period. Remember that you don’t have to go to the Olympics and play like a pro: regardless of your age or your level of playing, you can enjoy all the fun and the benefits of the game.
That’s one of my favorite things about tennis table: it brings together all generations, all ages and all kinds of people. It’s one of the most excellent ways to meet new people and make new friends. Considering all the advantages, I’d say we should encourage more and more people to give it a try.