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How to Stay Fit Over the Holidays with Ping Pong

December 15, 2015 by Rajeev Sharma

It's no surprise that people typically pack on the pounds over the holiday season. There are a ready supply of desserts at all holiday meals, and the cold weather makes anyone want to curl up and watch Netflix. The secret to staying slim and trim over the holidays is playing ping pong. This fun indoor sport is a surprisingly fantastic calorie incinerator and a great way to work out for extended periods without feeling like you're actually exercising. Those lucky enough to have table tennis tables in their homes no longer need to drag themselves out into the cold to get to the gym. The table can become their gym. Discover how to stay fit over the holidays with some sprightly games of ping pong.

Burn Baby Burn

Table tennis get you moving and helps you think fast. Rallies back and forth take mere seconds, so you need to be able to make a decision about your next move in a split second. It's an exercise for both your brain and entire body. Your leg muscles work to move you from side-to-side and front-to-back while your upper body twists and turns to get the perfect hit.

The amount of calories burned during a game depends on many different factors including your weight, gender, and skill level. Typically a beginner will burn between 200 and 350 calories per hour of play. More advanced players and those who compete professionally add a lot of fancy footwork into their game and can burn up to 500 calories per match.

Are you curious how long it would take you to burn off some holiday meal staples? Check out the list below:

  • Apple Pie (1 slice) - 296 calories, 56* minutes playing ping pong
  • Mashed Potatoes (1/2 cup) - 120 calories, 23 minutes playing ping pong
  • Stuffing (1/2 cup) - 180 calories, 34 minutes playing ping pong
  • Egg Nog (1/2 cup) - 190 calories, 36 minutes playing ping pong
  • Green Bean Casserole (1/2 cup) - 70 calories, 13 minutes playing ping pong
  • Canned Cranberry Sauce (1/4 cup) - 110 calories, 21 minutes playing ping pong
  • Turkey Breast (6 oz.) - 195 calories, 37 minutes playing ping pong
  • Buttered Roll (1 roll) - 210 calories, 40 minutes playing ping pong

*Calorie burn is based on how much you move while playing.

Give "Sitting Around the Table" a New Meaning

Holidays are about spending quality time with your loved ones, so give "spending time together around the table" a new meaning. We won't begrudge you your holiday feast, but be sure to balance your indulgence with some time gathered around your ping pong table. Stave off a carb-induced nap with a little exercise; the endorphins will wake you up so you can enjoy more laughs and memories with your family. Even after the holidays are over, having a friendly match of ping pong is a great way to keep the whole family together.

Get the Whole Family Involved

The best part about ping pong is that it's a game for absolutely everyone. Don't worry about leaving grandma out, this is a low-impact sport so there's little risk of injury. This game is excellent for the older generation because it improves balance, lowering the risk of falling, and can help slow the process of cognitive decline that typically occurs as you age. It's also great for young children because the equipment is light and the rules are easy to follow.

Don't feel guilty about your feast. Eat to your heart's content then grab your ping pong paddle to create a new family holiday tradition.

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