The Best Sport For Our Brain is Table Tennis
It is well-known that practicing sports helps to keep us fit and healthy and table tennis isn’t the exception. In United States there is a program that uses our sport as therapy for Alzheimer’s and dementia’s patients. Table Tennis is also recommended to elderly people.
China led by Liu Guoliang wants to make table tennis a popular sport around the world. That’s why the Chinese team is making some changes to promote table tennis. One of them is the transnational pairs in international competitions. But there are also other ways to promote our sport, for example, as the best sport for our brain.
SAEF, the Sport and Art Educational Foundation, is a non-profit organization, whose main purpose is to make the life of senior citizens, and developmentally and physically disabled children better.
This organization uses table tennis for therapeutic purposes in patients with Alzheimer and dementia. This is supported by studies that showed that table tennis activates various portions of the brain simultaneously. By playing the game, under any conditions, an overall state of awareness is stimulated – requiring both thought and physical alertness at the same time, according to Dr. Daniel Amen, member of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and a Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatrist who serves as an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at UC Irvine School of Medicine, USA.
Dr. Amen lists table tennis benefits for our body:
- Increases concentration and alertness
- Stimulates brain function
- Develops tactical thinking skills
- Develops hand / eye coordination
- Provides aerobic exercise
- Provides social and recreational interaction
The positive effect of table tennis can be seen in Fryda Dvorak. She is a 88 year-old women, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. Since Dvorak started with her table tennis sessions, she has showed improvements and she has also felt the positive effects: “When I play, my body is better. I can move,” she said, pumping her fists in the air like a marathon runner. “It makes me feel good. I feel like I’m still somebody, even at my age.”