If you’re looking for a new and casual sport to get into, badminton can be just that. If you want a fast, energy-intensive sport, badminton can cater to those needs, as well. The sport’s appeal lies in its versatility; so the only reason you need to start playing is, well, any reason you can find.
Easy to Play
Many sports require a high level of fitness or coordination to even begin to appreciate the unique experiences that they offer. Badminton, however, is extremely easy to pick up due to the nature of equipment. The racket and shuttlecock are lightweight. For that reason, players young and old can jump into the sport with ease. The design of the shuttlecock’s skirt also forces it to travel slower than a ball would in similar sports. Together, these two aspects make badminton a very approachable sport.
Great Form of Exercise
Don’t be mistaken; badminton can still be a demanding sport that requires tons of training and conditioning — especially if you expect to be competitive. At the professional level, badminton rallies do not typically last longer than twenty seconds. In that short amount of time, however, you can expect about forty shots to be taken. This unusually quick pace of badminton is what makes it such an explosive sport. The running, lunging, and swinging you’ll do will keep your heart-rate up and give your arms and legs a vigorous workout.
Badminton has been around for centuries, but needed its inclusion as an official Olympic sport to gain international exposure. Many sports claim to be growing, but few are enjoying the growth that badminton has recently had. In 2008, Olympic badminton spiked from its usual 30 participating nations to 50, marking its highest total yet. Also, more and more gyms are springing up every day, so there is no better time to pick up the sport. Most gyms have drop-in fees, but will usually allow you to play for as long as the building is open. If you aren’t too keen on spending money to just play leisurely, there is hope for you yet. The sport’s rise in popularity has helped it flood into universities and high schools alike. Playing in gym class or during downtime in college will usually cost you nothing. Even if you’re not a student, gyms at local schools often have hours where they are open to the public. As badminton continues to grow it should become more and more accessible.
Before you dismiss badminton as an activity for a lazy Sunday afternoon, consider that the sport’s governing body, the Badminton World Federation (BWF), recently introduced a new Super Series tournament to include a million dollars in prize money. This most likely is a sign of things to come for this up-and-coming sport. More prize money incentives will attract more players and, ultimately, stiffer competition. Also consider the constant advancement in racket technology, which is helping the game-speed become faster than ever.
Sport for a Lifetime
Competing in certain sports can take a toll on the human body. Badminton is not one of those sports. Badminton is technique-heavy and doesn’t rely too heavily on speed or strength to stay competitive. In playing a technique-based sport like this, the skills that you learn when you first pick up a racket will constantly be refined. Being able to stick with a sport you adored as child is invaluable to your well-being. It can provide a reliable form of enjoyable exercise, something that is often absent in the twilight years.
Fun for the Whole Family
Badminton is a great way for people of different ages to come together and play a game. A boy can easily hit around with his mother or even grandmother. The sport also caters to players of all skill levels and maintains a delicate balance between being easy enough to learn for beginners, and competitive enough for advanced players.
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