Reasons you should start playing badminton -The Asian Age

Amit Sodha

Are you a bit bored? Do you often just end up going home and vegging on the couch after a hard days work? Are you stuck and not sure what to do with life? Do you wish you had a way to get fit, have fun, vent your frustrations, and make some friends all in one go? If so, here are 10 reasons why I think you should put down that bowl of ready-made noodles, along with that can of duff beer, and find yourself a local badminton club to join!

Badminton is quite simply one of the most awesome sports you can play. I used to play at college and gave up once I started working. 13 years ago I took it up again casually and about 6 years ago I decided I wanted to take it more seriously. I now play up to 4 times a week and I can't think of a more fun way to spend my free time whilst getting fit!

1. Fun Fun Fun!

Badminton is organized fun for cool people. In fact we may just have to check out how cool you are before we let you join the club. If you aint cool, we'll put you through a coolness program first, and then you might get to play if you pass the stringent tests. 

Okay, calm down! I'm just kidding; but badminton is seriously epic. You can play singles to increase your fitness, or you can play doubles if you want to have a bit more fun. It's definitely more enjoyable than Squash, and unlike Tennis you can play all year around!

2. Social

If you join a club, you'll find that you'll be off court occasionally. During those times, you'll get to mingle, socialize and make lots of new friends. Or, if you're a crazy ass like me, you can get a skipping rope and skip to keep the sweat going!

3. Pace

Badminton is the fastest racquet sport in the world; bar none! Experienced players can smash the shuttle at speeds of over 200mph. When you learn to return those kinds of shots you get a serious rush! Just be warned though if a shot like that hits you in the head, you'll walk around looking like you're being targeted with a sniper rifle for a while!

4. Reflexes

With great power comes great responsibility and with badminton you will develop lightening quick reflexes. Because of badminton I once caught a mug full of coffee after I pushed it off the table; without spilling a drop!! It was totally surreal. Like that scene from Spiderman. Only I didn't have Mary-Jane on my lap!

5. Fitness

If you like to sweat then badminton is for you. With badminton you burn off the equivalent of a chocolate bar every 30 minutes or so. I'm not suggesting you eat a chocolate bar every 30 minutes to make sure you don't waste away though! To see how much exactly you burn check out this table of stats.

For someone like me, a 270lb'er who plays for 3 hours at a time, I could eat a horse every hour and still not worry about it going to my thighs or buttocks.

6. Agility

With badminton you have to learn to get from one side of the court to the other extremely quickly and so after a while you develop the agility of a cat. Meow!

7. Competition

You can keep it a strictly social thing but if you like to be competitive then chances are your club might be part of a league. If so you'll get to compete against other clubs and kick some ass after which some victory dances that you and your team mates have made up. I recommend the 'bolt' or the 'Mo Farah'.

8. Cost

Badminton isn't the cheapest sport but it doesn't really break the bank either. The biggest cost is usually the shuttles. When you join a club the cost of the shuttles may be included and so you may not even notice your wallet get lighter.

9. Spectating

I'm not really one for living life as a spectator but badminton is one sport I could happily watch for hours. There are tournaments all year round, big and small, so have a look around and also.

10. Skills

Whilst also learning to hit the shuttle at speeds that would even make a red Ferrari blush, and resemble a slug, you will also develop the softest touch. You will be able to just drop the shuttle over the net so it trickles over and hits the ground quicker than your opponent can say 'ZOIKS SCOOBY'! Just check this clip of Peter Gade and his legendary trick shot. So cool!

The writer is a freelancer