Top 10 reasons to play Table Tennis
- It's an Olympic sport !!
- The best sport for brain development. Brain expert Dr.Amen calls it “Aerobic chess”
- Health and Fitness – anaerobic, fast-paced over short distance, bursts of exertion and recovery
- Gentle on the body – non-contact sport with little risk of injury
- Therapeutic - improved reflexes and hand-eye coordination evidenced in Parkinson's and Alzheimer's
- A sport for life - play even when you are 100 !
- Everyone can play – size, age and gender are irrelevant
- You can play anytime, anywhere, for very little $$
- Perfect for socializing and making new friends
- Enjoy the challenge of learning this very technically demanding sport !
The Brain Connection
According to Suzuki, table tennis works parts of the brain that are responsible for movement, fine motor skills and strategy -- areas that could be growing stronger with each match. While scientists have yet to study the brain activity of ping pong players, Suzuki believes the game enhances brain function unlike any other sport.
According to Suzuki, there are three major areas affected by this high-speed game. The fine motor control and exquisite hand-eye coordination involved with dodging and diving for the ball engages and enhances the primary motor cortex and cerebellum, areas responsible for arm and hand movement.
Ping Pong, like Chess, involves strategy. Secondly, by anticipating an opponent's shot, a player uses the prefrontal cortex for strategic planning. Lastly, 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.
That could explain why fellow panelist, Will Shortz, calls ping pong, "chess on steroids."