Why Table Tennis is good for your brain
Do you wish a better memory, attention, motor learning and moods?
Table Tennis may seem like a simple sport, but it brings a lot to the table.
There is a lot going on in table tennis,” says Wendy Suzuki, a tenured professor of neuroscience at New York University and author of “Healthy Brain, Happy Life,” a new book exploring how physical exercise can affect the human brain. “Attention is increasing, memory is increasing, you have a better mood. And you’re building motor circuits in your brain.
A bigger part of your brain is being activated.”
Of course, Ping-Pong is only one path to the mental perks of exercise, Suzuki adds, and since not enough research has focused on its effects, we can’t be sure how it stacks up with other options. Many people prefer simpler activities like walking and running, for example, or more aerobic, larger-scale sports like lawn tennis.
Still, Ping-Pong has a certain mojo that’s hard to replicate. Its small playing area tends to accelerate the action, encouraging players to think and move at a dizzying pace. It’s a game of strategy, too, like high-speed chess without chairs. And not only can it complement a broader fitness regimen, but it’s also a gateway sport, masquerading as mindless fun until it gets our brains — and bodies — hooked on speed.