Ping-Pong: One of the Most Beneficial Activities for Senior Citizens

Ping-Pong: One of the Most Beneficial Activities for Senior Citizens
January 28th, 2015

Do you play Ping-Pong? If you’re a senior looking for ways to stay physically and mentally active, it might be the right game for you. A Los Angeles Times report tells the story of a Ping-Pong club at the Langley Senior Center in Monterey Park, California. For the past 25 years, the club has showcased the benefits the game has to offer, and how it can be among the most exciting and healthy activities for senior citizens. There might be a similar club near you — or you can start one yourself!

Ping-Pong Is Healthy…

Ping-Pong is a lively game, yet it’s playable at the pace the competitors choose. In other words, because there are so many ways to benefit from the game, it’s not necessary to go full-tilt to enjoy it. It’s an especially a great way for a caregiver and a senior to interact in a new way. Some benefits include:

  • Having to constantly keep your eyes on the ball. Ping-Pong requires good hand-eye coordination.
  • Manual dexterity is vital to playing the game, and for many, the ability to make the hands do what they want them to do — and quickly — improves with practice.
  • Few games draw a stronger one-on-one competitive spirit than Ping-Pong. Tennis and racquetball players can relate to the powerful motivation to win. The evidence is found in the tremendous pride players at the Langley Club take in their victories and titles.
  • When an activity is brisk enough to make you sweat, it’s a good thing. The intensity of a good Ping-Pong game is an excellent cardiovascular workout.
  • Stiff muscles and tight ligaments are put to work, and strengthening them will help reduce the risk for falls.

…And Easy to Play

Maybe Ping-Pong’s best benefit is that it is just plain fun. After a few lessons on how to control the ball, the rest is up to the player. Practice really does make perfect — well, almost — and the game quickly becomes addictive.

Electronic Ping-Pong and other games on Nintendo Wii, for example, call on many of the same healthy mind and body exercises and work like the real thing. There are dozens of other games and health management programs for the Wii and other platforms that are both healthy and fun.

Be sure to check with your healthcare provider to discuss any health issues before participating in any vigorous activity. If nothing else, just watching an intense Ping-Pong game provides the benefit of the excitement without the physical exertion.

A great game with some interesting history, Ping-Pong is also among the healthier activities for senior citizens. If you want to give Ping-Pong a try, paddles are affordable. And you don’t have to look far to find some competition, either.

Staying active is a vital way for seniors to prevent falls and live independently. For those concerned about fall risk, a medical alert system can bring additional peace of mind.