Besides football, badminton is one of the most popular sports in Malaysia, whether one plays it or watches it. Despite bumps along the way, Malaysia has managed to excel relatively well in the game on the global level, producing top-quality players and even winning our first Olympic medal in the sport. You’ve probably heard the name ‘Lee Chong Wei’, one of our top players, thrown around quite a bit during your time here.
If you’re interested in picking up a new hobby or activity, badminton is an excellent choice as it can improve your level of fitness, as well as help you understand a game that’s been ingrained in Malaysian culture.
Known as the cousin of tennis, is an incredibly fun and fast-paced game, once you get the hang of it. All you need is a badminton racquet and some shuttlecocks, at least one opponent, and a court to play in. There are numerous sports centres around the Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya area where you can rent a court for a couple of hours, at a low cost of around RM15-20 per hour.
1. Improve Your Fitness
Badminton gives the whole body a thorough workout, as you have to run, lunge, stretch and jump frequently during the game. This allows you to burn at least 400 calories per game, increasing your aerobic fitness, flexibility, reflexes, and speed at the same time.
2. Social Aspects
Since badminton isn’t a game you can play by yourself, it’s a great way to get a few of your friends for a new activity together, or to spend some family bonding time. Create teams, switch partners, compete with one another – it’s fun, healthy, and you can enjoy a guilt-free meal together afterward! You can even join a league and be part of a community, if you wish.
3. Good For The Brain
Playing badminton allows endorphins to flood your body, promoting a sense of happiness and well-being. It’s also a great way to burn off the stress of the day, and since it’s a social activity, you’re more likely to leave in a positive mood. Exercise also has been proven to ensure a good night’s sleep. Furthermore, badminton requires intelligence! You must be sharp, agile and be able to gauge your opponent’s next move, as well as work well with your partner if you’re playing doubles.
4. Overall Health
Like other forms of exercise, badminton improves cardiovascular fitness, boosts your immune system, and improves muscle tone. It’s also a great way to improve endurance and stamina, as well as for developing spatial perception and visual acuteness. If you’re already active and engage in other sports, badminton is a great way to cross-train.
5. Look Great
Besides achieving a lean and toned figure from the game, you’ll find that playing badminton can also improve your outer appearance. Within 10 minutes of active playing, you’ll be covered in sweat. This allows your body to detox and rid itself of dirt and obstructions, while promoting blood flow, which makes your skin glow and improves elasticity. This also helps reverse signs of aging. Since it’s primarily an indoor game, you won’t have to worry about sun damage either.
Source: The Expat Magazine May 2015
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