You've probably enjoyed ping pong as a child, or as a teen with friends at the local rec center, or perhaps even as a young adult in college (with plenty of hydration, we're sure), but at some point in our lives, we've been exposed to or have had fun with the familiar table tennis sport. However, ping pong is not just a leisurely past time, but a great way to fit a workout into your day while having fun! See below for 5 reasons why ping pong is the sport you should be playing to keep your mind and body fit and healthy!
DAY: MONDAYS ALL YEAR
WHERE: BERKELEY HEIGHTS YMCA, MULTIPURPOSE ROOM
DATES: 9/6-10/24, 10/31-12/19
WHERE: SUMMIT YMCA
Members of the Summit Area YMCA will be able to enjoy an invigorating and fun ping pong class at both the Berkeley Heights YMCA and the Summit YMCA. In this class, you will learn the basics of the game, techniques, how to score and have tons of fun! No experience necessary. Register online or via the mobile app!
Since group size is limited, pre-reservations are strongly recommended. Reservations are available through the SAY Mobile App or our Online Schedules tab.
"In ping pong, we have enhanced motor functions, enhanced strategy functions and enhanced long-term memory functions," explained Dr. Wendy Suzuki, professor of neuroscience and psychology at New York University in ABC article, This Is Your Brain on Ping Pong.
In the game of ping pong, whether or not you aim to win, your mind needs to be focused in order to play at all. You have to watch the ball and ensure the paddle in your hand hits the ball, AND you have to make sure the return hit lands back on the other side of the table. This takes some serious hand-eye coordination, and therefore builds on your cognitive awareness skills. So not only will it enhance your mental awareness of your surroundings, your eyes are sending constant information back to your brain about how fast the ball is coming at you, what angle, direction, how you should move in order to hit it back, and more. It might look easy, but this sport makes you analyze your movements in order to land that winning shot against the other player and therefore helps to improve your brain function.
As we mentioned before, this sport forces you to analyze the ball and other player's movements in order to calculate your own. Ping pong can be a fast natured game, and the faster you analyze and hit the ball back, the quicker your reflexes become. As you get better, each movement your opponent makes to hit the ball will make you assume another stance or move to a different part of the table faster. Just by playing and practicing, ping pong will organically improve your reflexes. With practice, you may achieve Bruce Lee level reflexes!
Whether you are playing ping pong slow and steady for some friendly fun, or fast and furious to defeat that friend who bet you lunch if you could beat them, ping pong can burn about the same amount of calories you could expect from a group exercise class. A 150 pound person can burn up to 272 calories per hour of ping pong, and if you're playing with the same amount of enthusiasm as when it's time to go home after work, you'll be on your way to shedding those extra pounds in no time.
To play ping pong, you need to be steady and quick on your feet to gauge how fast you need to move and hit the ball back in a rally. By playing ping pong, your mind and body develops better balance as you maneuver yourself from one side of the table to the other in order to return each hit without falling over. And when you get really good, you can even try back hand or behind your back hits to fool your opponent!
Unlike sports that require a lot of running around large expanses of space like soccer fields, basketball courts, track, or weightlifting, ping pong is a sport that revolves around the use of small, light weight equipment in a room large enough to comfortably hold the ping pong table. The average player rarely needs to run more than a few steps to hit a ball, and therefore rate of injury and contact is extremely low, making this sport attractive to all ages and abilities!
Ping pong is a great way to bond with family, friends and to make new friends! The sport is a low contact sport, is easy to play and has clear rules. With 1 vs 1 or 2 vs. 2 games, it's a great way to practice team work and enjoy friendly competition while getting in an easy workout!
Don't wait, come join our Ping Pong class at the YMCA today!
For more information, contact:
BERKELEY HEIGHTS YMCA
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