Now that it’s Back to School season, students everywhere are flocking to stores to get their school shopping done. With the excitement of seeing their friends every day and meeting new instructors on the forefront of students’ minds, the last thing they are thinking about right now is homework or studying for exams. Soon enough, though, mountains of homework and exam season will thrust themselves upon poor, unsuspecting students everywhere requiring major study and cram sessions. Although you probably haven’t realized it, among its many benefits, table tennis is a surprisingly great homework and study aid. In the spirit of Back to School, we’re explaining how table tennis can put you on your A-game, inside of the classroom and out!
Exercise Can Improve Your Memory & Thinking Skills
Table tennis is fantastic exercise. When chasing after the ball, reaching across the table, and swinging your racquet, you can work up a serious sweat and burn calories. Did you know, though, that regular exercise, like the kind you’d get from table tennis, can improve your memory and cognitive function? In fact, a recent study published by Harvard Medical School found that the prefrontal and medial temporal cortexes (which control thinking and memory) have a greater volume in people who exercise than in people who don’t.
Table Tennis Can Relieve Stress and Anxiety
When you’re stressed out about your homework, or a big exam, use table tennis to quiet your mind and take your frustrations out on the ball. The stress relieving abilities of exercise in general was also noted by the same study published by Harvard Medical School. The study found that exercise indirectly improves mood and sleep, and reduces stress and anxiety. We recommend playing a few rounds before a big exam, or any time you’re feeling stressed. When you’ve finally got the stress out of your system, you can return to a more calm and focused place.
#UnPlugNPlay to Improve Your Attention
Have you ever been trying to focus on something, but found that no matter how hard you tried, your mind wandered and your performance on the task declined? New research suggests from the University of Illinois suggests that once you have been working on a task long enough, your body becomes “habituated” to the sights, sounds, and feelings, erasing it from your awareness. The best way to regain your focus is to take breaks. When you find yourself staring at the books, it’s time to #UnPlugNPlay. You’ll reawaken your body and return to your studies with focus.
It Serves as a Great Reward
One great way to motivate yourself through homework or a long study session is to set rewards for yourself. “For each subject of homework I get done, I can have a 5 minute break” or “Once I’ve been at the library for four hours, I can spend an hour on table tennis training.” Setting small rewards along the way can eventually give way to a big reward at the end of your studies, which will keep you motivated. Table tennis is a great reward for yourself. Take your study buddy and #UnPlugNPlay as a reward for a long and hard day of studying. Loser has to share his outline!