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What are the benefits of playing table tennis?

Table tennis is my favorite combo activity. It also happens to be the world's best brain sport. Most people refer to it as Ping-Pong, though that's a trademarked name. Table tennis is a better aerobic exercise than you might imagine, and it gives your brain one heck of a workout. A fascinating brain imaging study from Japan found that just 10 minutes of table tennis increases activity in the prefrontal cortex and cerebellum.

It's like aerobic chess. It's great for hand-eye coordination and reflexes (cerebellum and parietal lobes). You have to focus (prefrontal cortex) so you can track the ball through space (parietal lobes and occipital lobes), figure out spins (parietal lobes and occipital lobes), and plan shots and strategies (prefrontal cortex and cerebellum). Then you have to follow through and execute those tactics successfully (prefrontal cortex and cerebellum). All the while, you have to stay calm so you don't get too nervous on game point (basal ganglia). And you can't dwell on the point you blew a few minutes ago (anterior cingulate gyrus) or blow your top when you make a mistake (temporal lobes).

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