An article in a recent issue of People magazine reports that Susan Sarandon is such a big fan of table tennis, also known as ping-pong, that she’s opening her own club in New York City called Spin NYC.
In the article, Sarandon says table tennis is “fast, fun, inexpensive and it’s almost impossible to get hurt.”ť She adds, “I find it’s better for sharpness of mind than crossword puzzles.”ť
Wow! I couldn’t have said it better. I’ve been an avid tennis table player for years and think it’s the world’s best brain sport. Here’s why.
Table tennis is highly aerobic and gets both the upper and lower body moving in every which way “” twisting, bending down low, reaching up high, and shuffling from side to side. Plus, it gives your brain one heckuva workout.
It’s great for hand-eye coordination and reflexes (cerebellum and parietal lobes). You have to focus (prefrontal cortex) so you can track the ball through space (parietal lobes and occipital lobes), figure out spins (parietal lobes and occipital lobes), and plan shots and strategies (prefrontal cortex and cerebellum). Then you have to follow through and execute those tactics successfully (prefrontal cortex and cerebellum).
All the while, you have to stay calm so you don’t get too nervous on game point (basal ganglia). And you can’t dwell on that point you blew a few minutes ago (anterior cingulated gyrus) or blow your top when you make a mistake (temporal lobes).
It’s like aerobic chess.
Ms. Sarandon, I wish you the best of luck with your new club. May I challenge you to a match?
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