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6 Reasons Why Ping Pong Is A Perfect Stress Buster

Posted by on June 20, 2019 in Exercise and Fitness, Health with 0 Comments

As per a report from American Physiology Association, 44% of American found that their stress level has increased greatly in the past 5 years while only 27% of the people found themselves physically fit. The report dates back to 2010, and the figures have further gone down since.

While the job pressure, social media, peer pressure are the common reason for the stress but the good thing is that the majority of people want to work on improving their physical and mental health but don’t have time to implement.

While going to the gym may be an option, but time is always a premium and taking time out specifically for the gym may not be for everyone. And gym does not help much in improving the mental health.

A good and healthy alternative can be to opt for an indoor sport which is easy to get started and supports both physical and mental development.

One such fantastic indoor activity is table tennis, popularly referred to as Ping Pong. An incredible sport that looks quite easy physically but offers a lot of health benefits.

Given below are the six main reasons why ping pong is a perfect stress buster!

1) Makes you feel better about yourself

A good exercise not only helps you physically but all makes you happy and more content. Playing ping pong once or twice a week can elevate your mood, and lower depression and anxiety level and improve the feeling of self-worth and support overall wellbeing.

2) Simple yet effective

Ping Pong is not a complicated sport and does not require you to buy a costly equipment. You just need a pair of paddles, few balls and a ping pong table to get started. However, if you play at your office, you just need to get a ping pong paddle for yourself which would cost you about $50.

3) Reduces Anxiety

Our negative thoughts and stress give birth to anxiety that further has a lot of adverse effects on our health. A good game of ping pong with family or friends helps you in coping up with your anxiety.

It also helps our mind to stay at rest and focused, which in turn lowers the anxiety and depression levels. Researchers from the University of Illinois found that once you have been working on a task long enough, your body becomes “habituated” to the sights, sounds, and feelings and can give you stressful thoughts.

Studying for long hours, working in your office continuously, doing household chores, and even sitting idle for long hours can give birth to stress and depression. It is always good to take short breaks and lighten your mind a little with a game of ping pong.

4) Lightens the Mood

A good game of ping pong can give your mood a BOOST. Scientifically proven, aerobic activity increases the neurotransmitters in the brain.

The neurotransmitters are vital chemicals that are linked to various brain functions and hormones such as dopamine (movement, emotional responses, feelings of pleasure), serotonin (mood, appetite, sleep, memory) and norepinephrine (stress response).

Not just the game enhances the mood instantly, but it is also associated with reduced stress and depression. A study published by Harvard Medical School has also supported this statement by implying that one or two rounds of table tennis indirectly improves mood and sleep, and reduces stress and anxiety.

5) Motor control

Any voluntary movement such as playing ping pong lights up our brain’s cerebellum. This part of the brain controls movement coordination, balance, equilibrium, and muscle tone, all of which are critical for proper motor control.

Table Tennis is a fast sport which requires you to adjust and react to balls which shoot at you over 70mph. At the same time you need to keep track of the opponent, your body posture and more. This gives your brain a good exercise and keeps the stress at bay.

6) Good for your Brain and Creates new brain cells

It is said that “In most of the brain, whatever cells you're born with are all you get.” But there is a small part of the brain ‘hippocampus’ that is not only valued for keeping our treasured memories but for also developing new brain cells throughout our life.

The physical activity, such as playing ping pong, can trigger the growth of new brain cells and helps us to live longer. It sharpens our memory and also raises levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) that is a protein responsible for neuron growth and survival.

Wendy Suzuki who is a Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at New York University and Dr. Amen who is the writer of the book “Making A Good Brain Great: The Amen Clinic Program for Achieving and Sustaining Optimal Mental Performance”, both have agreed that ping pong is a great sport for the brain and enhances the memory power.

It arouses the critical parts of the brain that includes Hippocampus, Prefrontal Cortex, Primary Motor Cortex, Cerebellum, Basal Ganglia, and Temporal Lobes, all of which are associated with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson's.

A study was conducted in Japan in 1997 to explore the effects of table tennis on the brain, and it showed that just 15 minutes of table tennis could stimulate the brain and improve the reflexes which can help the patients of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson's to recover fast.

Conclusion

There is nothing a fun-filled game of table tennis can’t fix. Whether you play with your colleagues or family members, the sport can help you improve your overall mental and physical stability.

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