Why Badminton Is A Better Workout Than You Think

Badminton may not be the most widely-played game, but it is certainly recognizable. From the outside, it looks like a mix of tennis and volleyball, with the net higher up off the ground like in volleyball, but played with rackets like tennis.

Similar to both sports, it has a host of benefits. The Badminton World Federation (BWF) states that, in adolescent players, the sport helps develop both coordination and spatial awareness. It also helps younger players develop a sense of confidence and combat stress in a healthy way that builds social connections.

Coordination and spatial awareness may not increase in adult players, but the stress relief and social components remain the same. As the BWF states, badminton is a social game that gets people up and moving. It provides a community built around physical activity and, in regulated competitions, a sense of sportsmanship. All of these are excellent benefits, but they're not what makes badminton an ideal workout. These benefits are rooted in the game's play style and the effect it has on the players' bodies.

Badminton is a game with heart

The Badminton World Federation lists several physical benefits to the game. It cites studies carried out by Baylor University's Department of Physical Education that showed badminton players made an average of 350 directional changes of 90 degrees or more in just 20 minutes of active play. This level of activity isn't surprising, as players chase the shuttlecock across the court. It's also not surprising that the BWF estimates players burn 450 calories over the course of an hour-long game, given their activity level.

However, the game isn't entirely about staying in motion. There are many starts and stops, which make it an excellent game for those with heart conditions. This, as it turns out, is really where badminton shines. It is an excellent aerobic exercise that improves cardiovascular health. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all adults get 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity each week, and if it seems like badminton fits the bill, you would be right. Badminton is specifically mentioned as a moderate to vigorous activity by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in its obesity prevention resources. If you're looking for a fun game that improves aerobic and cardio health while burning serious calories, badminton might be the game for you.