3. Physical Active
4. Physical Fitness
12. Problem Solving
16. Degenerative Diseases
24. Mood Improvement
25. Feeling Good
28. Lessen the risk of falling
33. Mutual Respect
34. Develop Relationships
35. More Oxytocin in the Brain
38. Low Risk
40. Hand-eye Coordination
42. Stay Fit
43. Stress Relief
44. Slows Aging
45. Burns Calories Through Cardio
Sports are often thought of as being reserved for the young and physically fit. In fact, as we age, many sports are no longer a viable means of physical fitness even if we wanted them to be. So, how can we find entertaining and enjoyable ways to remain physically active at any age or fitness level? The answer is pool! Yes, it’s true. Playing pool, or billiards as it is still sometimes called, is a great way to have fun and enjoy many health and physical fitness benefits at the same time. There are three main aspects of one’s health that must remain finely tuned in order for the body to operate at its peak and, as these three are all connected, they each need the other in order to stay healthy. So, what are these three aspects of good health? It is the mental, emotional and physical of course! Luckily, playing billiards has all these benefits. On top of these three, there are also social benefits that give incredible added value to the game of pool! Think of it as a little plus to your health insurance. Overall, the health benefits of playing pool are incredible, so let’s examine them further.
Let’s start with the mind, the command center of the body! It is a well-known fact that as we age, it’s important to find ways to continually challenge the mind. The game of pool has many ways in which it contributes to a healthier mental state. An improved imagination and creativity as you strategize, is just one of them. The application of visualization and problem-solving techniques when playing variations of pool is another. All of these, plus having it all happen during “on-the-spot” moments make for great mental health benefits.
Science has shown us that lifelong learning contributes to lower rates of dementia, Alzheimer’s and other memory lapse-based degenerative diseases. Playing billiards requires using mental strategy, memory, focus, and patience. Whether the game is new to you or you have been a lifelong player, these are all great things to help keep your mind healthy, strong and sharp!
Another fabulous health benefit to playing pool is the strength that is built through improved mental reflexes. Having to make quick mental decisions and strategizing helps to develop a keen and sharp mind, which in turn makes you a better player!
Once your mind is working at an optimal level, you’ll find that you begin to see the emotional benefits of playing pool as well. A clear and quick mind makes playing more enjoyable and with more fun, the desire to play more often occurs. Like with most things in life, the more often you practice, the better your skills are and the more fun you have, thereby enhancing the emotional benefits. Emotional health is a crucial element of overall mental health. Playing pool gives the opportunity to have the mental and emotional connected together in a circle of entwined health benefits.
Playing pool builds confidence! Your self-confidence grows as you become a better player. This can help you to navigate more difficult areas of life. When stressors occur, playing a game of confidence-building pool can improve your mood easily and quickly. Feeling good about yourself and your abilities after you played the game is priceless!
Confidence comes in many forms and physically is also one of them. Becoming more limber and agile in your movements through playing billiards is a great benefit. Not to mention how your physical confidence improves, as a result of the repetitive movements required to play the game. This can be a great bonus for the elderly, veterans or even those with varying physical limitations. Knowing that you can move better and thereby lessen the risk of falling, is a great confidence booster.
The social benefits of playing billiards are among the most obvious of all the health benefits. Pool is a fun game that can be played with two or more people. It encourages social interaction even for the shyest among us, which contributes to a healthy social life.
Although the game always ends with a winner, it doesn’t have to be a stressful competitive environment. Fun times with friends or new acquaintances. Talking, laughing and joking around together. Pool enhances mutual respect and helps you to develop relationships.
However, for those who are interested, there is a competitive aspect. Tournaments can bring some friendly competition to your life! It enhances the fun and helps to release even more oxytocin in the brain. This hormone is also known as the “happy” drug as it makes us feel joyful and uplifted. Many people have a strong competitive streak and playing billiards is a great way to direct this interest.
Despite it being low impact, there are many physical health benefits to playing pool. Although pool is first and foremost a mind game, the physical benefits are well documented, as is the low risk of injury as compared to other sports and games.
Not everyone is naturally coordinated. However, the game of pool does not require you to start out that way. In fact, you can be the most uncoordinated person in your group and still learn to play pool! In fact, with practice, you will even learn to play it well.
Playing billiards can assist you with balance and stretching. As you position your body to take aim at the ball, it is necessary to pose in positions that might be out of your ordinary range of movement. Lunging, squatting and bending while stretching your arms out and reaching across the pool cue are all forms of low impact movement. When you keep the body moving, even at a slow pace, it enables you to stay limber longer and more easily. Not to mention walking around the table! Just wearing a step counter will easily show you how much walking can be accomplished during one game of pool.
Being eye level with the cue stick and aiming the ball into towards the pocket, develop great hand-eye coordination. Not to mention the manual precision needed in the flick of the wrist and finger manipulation.
With all these health benefits; mental, emotional, physical and social- it’s easy to see why playing pool is a social and stimulating way to stay fit and have fun. There are many ways to fit the game into your lifestyle, so don’t delay! Get yourself a cue and a spot at the table right away!