It is a sport loved by players from recreational level through to elite performance. Badminton is an activity that calls for speed, endurance, flexibility, balance, swift reaction times and an ability to read the game. It is also a great sport for social interaction so the mental health benefits are also pronounced.
Easy take up
Taking up badminton is relatively easy. You do not need a huge outlay on expensive equipment – a racket can be bought for as little as £20. Clothing consists of breathable t-shirt and shorts and some indoor trainers with suitable soles. Any good sports shop will stock the correct gear.
There are more than 21,000 clubs and 24,000 courts in England and you can play the sport all year round. It is also non-contact so is suitable for people of all ages and abilities.
The rules are easy to learn. Participants hit the shuttlecock back and forth, or ‘rally’. To win a point, they must hit the shuttlecock so that it lands on their opponents’ side of the court before it can be returned. The winner is the first player or team to reach 21 points.
You can play badminton as a singles or doubles activity and is a fun, sociable game
Health benefits of badminton
As an aid to health and fitness, badminton provides a fantastic full body work out. Classed as a moderate-intensity activity, regular badminton sessions will contribute to the recommended 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week.
Rapid movements around the court, jumps, smashes, lunges all help to build muscle and improve cardiovascular fitness.
Here are just some of the ways in which Badminton can contribute to your health and well-being.
Physical agility is a key quality in badminton. The shuttlecock travels very fast and you have to react to that in order to reach it and hit it back. The more you play, the faster your movements around the court will become.
Balance and flexibility are also areas that rapidly improve as you play more badminton. You often find yourself stretching into unusual or challenging positions to return a shot. Over time this will help you develop balance and flexibility. Soon you will be leaning into positions that you never thought possible.
Regular badminton can also contribute to weight loss. Players can burn up to 500 calories during an hour long badminton session. Combine that with the fact that it is a high intensity activity, so you keep burning calories after you have finished playing, and you can understand why it is a great sport for weight loss.
Studies back up badminton’s benefits
A lesser-known fact about badminton is that it also helps build and maintain a healthy skeleton. A review back in 2008 indicated that physical activity increases bone mass, particularly during adolescence. All the evidence suggested that this benefit continued into adulthood.
Another piece of research, with the catchy title: 12 Weeks of Sprint Interval Training Improves Indices of Cardiometabolic Health Similar to Traditional Endurance Training despite a Five-Fold Lower Exercise Volume and Time Commitment, showed that badminton improves heart function much more than other lower intensity exercises. the study, published in 2016, proved that you could get the same benefits in a high-intensity interval training than in traditional endurance training even though you exercised five times less.
Badminton: A thinking game
Finally, the benefits are not restricted to physical health benefits. Sudies have also shown sport to be a good antidote to fight mental illnesses such as depression or to simply keep your mind more active. Your mental agility will develop through regular badminton sessions because you have to make decisions so quickly. Within a game, you need to mentally react fast to your opponent’s shots and you need to decide in the blink of an eye what will your next shot be. It is not only about your body moving fast to catch the shuttle, but it is also about your brain telling your body fast enough to start moving.
To book a court at Kelsey Kerridge call reception on 01223 462226 to check for current availability, open from 9am until 10pm.