Badminton, whilst looking elegant and fluid, is a deceptively exhausting sport which requires you to engage all your major muscle groups. Between running, jumping, lunging and shuttle-hitting (ballistic moves that require short bursts of power), an hour of badminton will have you burning up to 500 calories. This means, during the course of a game, you get a HIIT style workout that pushes you to the limits, meaning your metabolism improves and leaves you burning calories for hours after you have left the court.
Badminton is a fantastic full-body workout. The rapid movements, jumps, smashes and crunches while playing badminton will help build up your muscles to make them leaner, stronger and fitter in no time. It tones the legs, calves, glutes and quads, as well as the core, back and arms. Over time, your balance will improve as the core muscles engage quicker and easier, and the extension of the body and elevation of the arms will enhance flexibility. Together this means better posture, improved stability and superior flexibility – all critical components for a healthy lifestyle.
Badminton is a game that requires a wit for strategising and making split-second decisions – so on top of all the physical benefits, it helps the way you think. Playing badminton positively engages your brain by having to think about what you’re doing – whether it is deciding where to serve, where to stand on the court, or reacting swiftly to a smash. The game also involves a lot of psychological observations and interpretations to defeat your opponent. Subsequently, you will be improving your concentration levels, focus, alertness, and agility. Plus, if you’re playing doubles, you will refine your teamwork skills and awareness of what is happening around you.
Similarly, many studies highlight how physical activities can improve academic performance by improving focus, concentration, and memory. Badminton, or any sport for that matter, can hugely improve your academic performance because it helps you to develop prioritisation strategies, which enable you to focus and avoid procrastination. For instance, skills such as discipline and time management are key for studying or working. Discipline is vital to ensure you buckle down and prioritise your work, and time management helps you to focus and avoid procrastination.
You will truly appreciate how fast-paced a game of badminton can be once you step on to the courts! You need to be physically swift to reach the shuttle and mentally agile to work out where to move to return it, and how to hit it to win. Attempting to cover all parts of the court, with not a lot of reaction time, and accurately return the shuttle is a lot to think about in one go! For the competitive amongst you, badminton is a great sport for psychological games with your opponents, where you can employ tricky manoeuvres to outwit your rival. The combined agility of mind and body will advance your ability to process thoughts and accurately develop a plan of action, both on and off the court.
The substantial psychological and physical benefits of playing badminton will also help you boost your mood, reduce stress, and reduce anxiety. Your brain will release endorphins, the brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, that enhance your sense of well-being. Moreover, the social interaction through a game of badminton, along with this release of endorphins, will help you take your mind off any worries or negative thoughts and leave you feeling confident and happy after a session on the court.
To conclude, there are numerous (convincing!) reasons why you should be playing badminton or participating in regular physical activity; from building strength, balance, coordination, to improving fitness and reducing the risk of illnesses. Research has demonstrated the positive influence physical activity has on mental health by helping people feel happier and relaxed. Therefore, if you are looking to get a great workout that is both fun and optimises your physical and mental performance, head to Sport & Fitness for a good game of badminton against a buddy or two!