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A game of table tennis has surprising benefits

My first impression of the table tennis gym was that of butterflies flitting away, so nimble was the players' movement. An indoor game, table tennis doesn't require much space, and it was originally a form of relaxation for housewives of the Orient.

The game seems to be catching on fast, because of its benefits - eye therapy, increased energy levels, improved blood circulation, burning of body fat and dexterity.

Considered by experts as the ‘best brain sport', table tennis is said to boost hormones that keep the brain young. If that is not reason enough to take up the sport, then you might also want to know that millionaire Bill Gates is a huge fan!

The key to the game is body conditioning. Competitive table tennis needs at least a 45 minute warm-up session. This is crucial to the quality of the game that follows. K.Raghuraman, Secretary of T.N. Veterans Table Tennis Association in the city, has had 40 years of experience in the field. He recommends 500 skips, stretching, bending, footwork exercises, frog jumps and calisthenics like push-ups, crunches and squats with desirable repetitions. One's warm-up should focus on strength training and multi-joint exercises. A sensible diet includes plenty of proteins, vegetables, eggs and dairy products.

Table Tennis is perfect for recreational fitness. The quickness and explosiveness of table tennis is similar to being in combat. A major appeal is the sport's brain mapping ability. For, a player is constantly plotting and strategizing and assessing an opponent's strengths and weaknesses.

Coaches say the game doesn't have to be played everyday. Alternate days of playing can be combined with days of preparation for the game. For instance, running at moderate speed improves a person's overall game. Parents find remarkable improvement in their ward's alertness and social skills. Adults play for fitness and high octane fun.

Coach Raghuraman, who helps academic institutions absorb top table-tennis players, throws light on some other amazing facts. Sample these: doctors recommend the game for children with behavioral problems as it is a group activity. A healthy game of table tennis can be played balanced on crutches. Those who are hearing-impaired play the game competitively as they can see the path of the ball and feel its vibration. Lefthanders have an advantage as their shots are loaded with spin and it is harder to read their shots. Raghuraman adds that seasoned players can play a whopping 200 rallies per minute.

Table tennis is known to produce “the best overall fit athletes” thereby making it an irresistible combination of fitness and fun.

For details contact: Youngsters Table Tennis Academy at 9443324414

USHA CHOCKALINGAM

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