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In case you missed this, Ping London organized a promotion of the sport of table tennis, and to mark the two year countdown to the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, by putting a hundred table tennis tables all across London’s landmarks, squares, shopping centres, offices and train stations on 24 July 2010.

Photo by Feggy Art ( Creative Commons)

Ping Pong ( table tennis ) is the world’s best brain sport, says Dr. Amen in his book, Change Your Brain, Change Your Body. It gives you body & your brain a great aerobic workout with all of the twisting, bending, reaching and lunging you need to do. It challenges your hand-eye coordination, it exercises your ability to track a ball through the air, it makes your prefrontal cortex and cerebellum work by having to plan shots and develop winning strategies. Find a local club through the United States of America Table Tennis (USATT).

Many people say I don’t have the time to workout or exercise. But these same people may find the time to just Play….Sports are more fun then just plain exercise and they can be just as rewarding especially for your brain.

Exercise needs to become a habit and the way to make anything a habit is to do it repeatedly until you are performing the action automatically and without effort. Numerous repetitions trains your brain to perform, but you need to vary your fitness plan so things don’t become routine or boring. People who have PreFrontal Cortext (PFC) problems such as ADD need lots of high-intensity aerobic activities, such as table tennis or meditation. Those with ACG ( Anterior cingulate gyrus ) problems, or getting stuck on negative thinking need to boost their serotonin levels with intense aerobic exercise as well.

Lack of physical exercise negatively affects blood flow in your body. Without adequate blood flow, the blood vessels in the deep areas of the brain also become distorted, increasing the risk of tiny strokes. As we age, these tiny strokes accumulate & shut off areas of these deep areas of the brain. These brain areas control leg movement, body movement, thinking speed and behaviors. This explains why people over 40 who don’t exercise aren’t as mentally sharp as those who are physically active.

New research has shown that people as young as 45 who have high blood pressure are more likely to experience problems with memory & thinking as well. Those with a high diastolic blood pressure ( the bottom number ) are at higher risk. For every 10-percent increase in diastolic reading, odds jump by 7-percent of having cognitive brain problems. Also untreated high blood pressure can lead to greater risk for dementia. As we age, the consequences from physical inactivity can be devastating.

The best kinds of exercise are:
– Cardiovascular, or aerobic exercise which enhances new cell growth and gets your heart pumping which in turn improves your memory.
– Resistance Training, such as Cross Fit or any type of strength resistance trainingmay prevent cognitive decline in older adults.
– Coordination Activities, such as judo, dancing, tennis & basketball, enhances thinking, cognitive flexibility & brain processing speed.
– Also its best to do a Combination of exercises, aerobic which spawns new brain cells and resistance which strengthens the connections between those cells.

Since one exercise or sport doesn’t fit all, here are some other brain enhancing sports to choose from:

  • Tennis
  • Dancing
  • Running
  • Walking – Go walk the dog!
  • Golf, walking the course..
  • Hiking
  • Frisbee
  • Swimming
  • Basketball
  • and number 11….is Rugby of course…

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