If hitting the gym for hours at an end is not really your thing, another way to get rid of the belly is by taking up Badminton. While it does not have the kudos as weightlifting and other forms of exercise, badminton is officially the fastest of all racket sports. Experienced players can rocket the shuttlecock at speeds of up to 180mph at opponents. But, it is not just all about speed; a player can expect to run up to four miles around the court during a match whilst having the agility to maintain energy-busting rallies.
So, whilst stamina and agility are important, certainly at a competitive level, the good news is that badminton is open to anyone; all can get involved and this is reflected in the surprisingly high participation rates across the Three Counties. Badminton is the second most popular participation sport in the UK, falling short only to football. That is some achievement, considering the amount of press that surrounds football to confirm its profile, attracting attention to the game.
British badminton has little or none of the media attention compared to that of football, it is unlikely you will be able to name a top level player, let alone know who they have been getting busy with behind closed doors. There are no poster boys, wags or extortionately stupid wages however, badminton manages to pull in the interest with Britain having 4,000,000 players; that is 8 per cent of the population. Within no time, we would have you playing like a pro.
So why Badminton?
- First and foremost, the basics of badminton are not difficult to master; even new players with little or no skill can enjoy their first game and progress quickly.
- You need minimal equipment to get started playing badminton; if you choose to start off at clubs open to the public, all the equipment you will need can be borrowed or hired.
- It’s great for conditioning the body! Step out on to the badminton court and you can expect to burn 600 to 1000 calories per hour as well as testing your stamina, flexibility and coordination.
- Badminton is social and a great way to meet new people, or if you are a couple looking for an activity to share then badminton is the perfect game to bond with each other as well as meet other couples.
Playing badminton can have a number of positive health and fitness benefits on your body. Here are some of its key exercise advantages:
- Improves aerobic fitness, with more oxygen circulated around the body to better muscular endurance.
- Burns off calories with energy being supplied to the muscles and not forming fat.
- Boosting flexibility and sprint speed, due to the fast-paced nature of badminton.
- Improves hand-eye co-ordination with concentration required for serving.
- Develops the strength and power of muscles, notably leg and arm muscles.
- Furthers concentration and mental strength, with matches often lasting for many hours.
- Boosts a player’s cardiovascular fitness (the heart and lungs organs), allowing more oxygen to be pumped around the body and help energise muscles.