The only ways to work up a sweat properly and juice up the mind and your reactivity you need to engage in activities such as jogging, hockey or football. Not correct. Ping-Pong also challenges the body and the mind. If you do not believe it, you should try it for yourself.
You will soon find out that Ping-Pong is very much a sporting activity. And sport keeps you fit. Short and sweet! This is for most of us, not new knowledge, but only very few of us know how sports also affect the brain. Neurogenesis or the development of new nerve cells is the basic requirement for us to be able to store further information and learn things or tasks.
And Forrest Gump quickly learned that – When he, in the movie that also bears his name, is wounded in Vietnam, he is admitted into a military hospital – for the first time he experiences Ping-Pong.
‘Never let the ball out of your eyes!’ That’s what Forrest is told, and after that, he never looks back.
That’s the entire point – A ball, two rackets, a flat surface and a net are all that is needed for table tennis – and here are the rules. Then, all you have to do is not let the ball out of your sight. But more importantly, have a lot of fun and movement with the most meditative focus. The focus comes when you get a little practice and do not have to crawl into the bushes after each serves to find the ball.
Everything about Ping-Pong is fun. The movement, the feeling of not having to think, the fluid automatisms that one appropriates, the accuracy and milliseconds that matter, or whether a stroke succeeds or smashes into the net.
No matter what the detractors claim, Ping-Pong is a complete sport. It is an activity that occupies the mind entirely, leading to total cognitive improvement.
So, what happens in the mind? Sport can improve the health of the brain.
Every table tennis session involves processes in the brain that consequently enhance cognitive awareness.
It works like this!
The hippocampus in the brain produces a protein known as BDNF. BDNF is a brain-derived neurotrophic factor, and its primary function is the stimulation of nerve cell growth. Increased activity in addition to the elevated blood circulation also promotes the release of BDNF and other growth factors.
This means that in each table tennis session, nerve cells and synapses are protected, ‘trained’ or even newly formed. However, to see longer-term brain function success, exercise should be done at least three times a week for more than 30 minutes each. After just six months, the brain structure will have improved significantly.
The more athletic one is, the more oxygen the body can absorb. So far, however, no study has established a link between maximum oxygen uptake and logical thinking.
This means that it is not important to be the ‘most athletic.’ Instead, it is essential for the brain to exercise on a regular basis and Ping-Pong is an excellent way to do that. Just a few sessions each week are enough to make the mind more active.
And don’t let your age stop you!
Brain tissue declines as we get older – it is a natural process. However, with regular physical activity, you can protect yourself against this decline. The areas of the brain responsible for memory and learning processes, i.e., areas in the temporal lobe and frontal lobe, benefit most from the increased physical activity. These areas are also associated with diseases like Alzheimer’s. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that people who exercise regularly, i.e., at least three times a week, have a 35% lower Alzheimer’s risk.
So, plan a Ping-Pong session with your buddy three times a week. Purchase a table recommended by BestPingPongTables.io. Even short, intensive sessions of fifteen minutes are enough here. So time should not be an excuse. If you step out of your everyday routine and fit it in, the rapid movement, focus, and eye-hand coordination will significantly improve your cognitive skills in time.