Ping pong – it is one of the most surprisingly entertaining forms of entertainment, be it an official table tennis match or just having some fun with your family and/or friends. Did you know, though, that there is a surprising amount of health benefits to playing it?
I will only be covering three of them today but know that there are actually several more. You can find some of them here, https://www.ttnsw.org.au/activities/the-health-benefits-of-table-tennis/, where I got the inspiration for this article! I want to share more about this, as table tennis is something I am quite passionate about.
- Improving our Hand Eye Coordination
If you are not sure what this means, hand-eye coordination is our ability to perform actions that require using both our hands and our eyes simultaneously. It sounds easy, but you would be surprised at how difficult this can truly be for some people. That is especially true for those of us who have poor eyesight (myself certainly included).
It has taken a lot of training for me to get better at things like ping pong. I am thankful it is a skill that we can hone, because otherwise I might be out of luck! Sure, one of the most common ways that we think about improving it might be from video games, but do not count tabletop games like this out!
Now, just keep in mind that honing this ability is not only beneficial for this purpose. There are other health benefits, particularly for those who are getting older. You can read about that further in this article if you would like to know more. Of course, this is not a magic cure-all, but you might notice improvement in other parts of your life!
Typing speed is something linked to hand-eye coordination, thought we might not think of that at first. However, as you consider it, hopefully it makes more sense – those with higher typing speeds tend to not have to watch their fingers as they type – rather, they keep their eyes on the screen while they type out the words based.
So, if you do something like that for your job, you might notice a boost in improvement if you dedicate yourself to improving your coordination. It can be a lengthy process, but certainly worthwhile at the end of the day.
- It Can Help to Mitigate Certain Symptoms of Chronic Illnesses
If you feel that this sounds far-fetched, I completely understand. Please keep in mind that I am not peddling this as some sort of miracle cure. However, there are several studies out there that show that joining in on activities such as table tennis or ping pong can help patients suffering from Parkinson’s Disease.
For those unfamiliar, Parkinson’s is a progressive disease that impacts our neurological pathways. I think it is of note to mention due to the fact that it is one of the fastest growing forms of neurological disorders across the world. It is typically thought of as something that only impacts the elderly, but that is not true.
So, what can ping pong or table tennis offer those with this disease? Well, most notably, it helps to keep our brains sharp. What do I mean by that? For the most part, we play the game and need to have fast reflexes. That is part of why my grandmother decided to get one when she saw ping pong tables for sale a few months back. Her symptoms have not gone away, obviously, but she does really enjoy the game and gets a good amount of enrichment from it.
Being Social is Very Important for Mental Health
While this might seem quite obvious, it is still a point worth bringing up. Many people underestimate just how important companionship is to our happiness. Now, I am not saying that you should hinge your entire life upon someone else, but rather, that spending time with a good friend, or a member of your family, can help you feel better on a rough day.
Ping pong offers a way to do that while getting active, practicing your reflexes, and perhaps even having a bit of friendly competition. It is not the only way that you can do these things, but it certainly is a fun one. That is why I recommend it – I think it is a great activity for people of many ages and allows us to connect.
I really enjoy playing it with my younger cousins, for example. They are quite shy and rarely reach out to talk. However, when you get them playing a fun game like this, they come right out of their shells! It is just something to consider – hopefully, you are able to find activities that suit you and your family!