There are a million reasons why you should start playing badminton, but here are top 5 to try to convince you to pick up a racket and birdie today.
It’s a sneaky way to lose weight
Unlike other sports, with long bouts of running, badminton rally’s are quick. Hitting a birdie back and forth can be exhausting as it requires quick, precise sprinting back and forth, but then eventually someone will miss the birdie and you have a short recovery period as the teams get ready to start the next serve. This mix of high-intensity exercise, followed by a mini break, ensures that your heart rate stays high but you have time to catch your breath so you don’t even notice how hard you are working. It’s great for fat burning and an hour of playing competitive badminton can burn up to 500 calories per hour (more than running).
It improves cardiovascular health
Playing badminton lowers the bad cholesterol while increasing HDL levels (the good cholesterol). Badminton also strengthens the heart muscles and is a good sport for people with heart troubles (under doctor supervision of course). Playing regularly also lowers the resting rate of your heart which is beneficial for your health even when not playing. It’s one of the best sports for your heart.
Increases your reflexes
When you play badminton you have to be hyper focused. You can’t lose concentration even for a second or you will miss the hurtling shuttle. You also have to learn to react quick to the tiniest changes. Badminton has been called “the chess of sports” because you cannot just run to the general direction and hit, but must focus precisely on the slightest of hits. And with the speed of the shuttle, and the smallness of the court, every reaction must be quick and fast. It’s great to increase your reflexes.
This is a major benefit I have witnessed firsthand. I’m pretty active, and climb a lot of mountains albeit with a lot of huffing and puffing. But when I recently climbed two famous mountains in China I huffed and puffed a lot less than normal. In fact, I vastly outpaced a couple of young, fit Germans and recovered a lot quicker then they did, all because of my badminton practice.
You Can Play at Any Level
So many Americans think badminton is an easy sport, played in the backyard with kids. It’s a really annoying assumption because actually it is one of the most physically demanding sports. But, it is also an advantage. Little kids can’t play tennis because the rackets are heavy, the ball is heavy, etc. But kids can play badminton. And so can old people. And so can people with low levels of fitness, and even people with physical handicaps. Last week at the place I go to a little person (Is that the PC word these? I’m a bit out of the politically correct language) played along side his friends and his smaller stature didn’t hurt him at all. I watched them and he kicked ass. Badminton is a sport that can be changed to the players ability, and be challenging but playable and fun to people of all levels.
Bonus #6 reason:
It’s fun as F@*K
It’s fun. It’s just damn fun. And I say this as a non-sport, bookish nerd type. It’s fun. Fucking fun. Go play.