Badminton, tennis’s lesser-known cousin (which is still an olympic sport!), is easy to learn, a fun social activity and provides numerous physical benefits. So if you’re in need of a good workout, head to your backyard or your local gym for a recreational match against a friend or two. Badminton is a racket sport played on a rectangular court. Players score by hitting a shuttlecock, or birdie, with their racket over the net and in their opponents’ half of the court. Here are some reasons to play badminton.
Playing regular badminton conditions the body so that the basal heart rate drops a few beats per minute and blood pressure is reduced. Both these effects are helpful in hypertensive individuals. It may help them to ward off their hypertension without medicines and even if they are needed, only fewer amounts are required.
Psychological Benefits. Because badminton promotes physical fitness, it helps to reduce stress and anxiety. Exercise increases endorphins, which are the brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, and has also been found to improve mood and sleep. Badminton is also likely to put you in a good mood because it’s a social activity.
Playing badminton also carries loads of health benefits. “It’s a wonderful and fun way to get in shape,” notes Susan Agrios, a fitness trainer in Edmonton who coaches and plays competitive badminton. “You have a short burst of activity, and then a bit of a rest, and then a short burst again to blast that heart rate up. That kind of interval training is a great way to strengthen the heart.”
Be-bopping around the court also helps tone your muscles. “It’s fantastic for the legs: the quads, butt, calves and hamstrings. Your core muscles get worked, too. And of course the arm and back muscles on the side you hold your racquet are getting a workout,” says Agrios. The game also boosts your agility, balance and coordination, as well as strengthening your bones because it’s a weight-bearing activity. For a recreational badminton player, this all adds up to about 450 calories burned per hour (based on a 150-lb woman). An hour of walking burns just half that amount.
Coordination, flexibility, endurance, visual acuteness. Badminton improves coordination, flexibility and balance. It exercises the glutei (accelerations), abdominal and dorsal muscles (receptions and returns), reinforces the joints. Badminton develops spatial perception and visual acuteness. It also improves endurance, fights against obesity, stress or anxiety.
So keep on smashing and be healthy after!
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