When picking up a new hobby or game, people rarely stop and think “how does this benefit me?”. Of more primary concern is whether it’s fun or not, understandably.
But if you plan to get deeper into something, it is always good to ask yourself that question, so you can determine whether your time spent with it is justified in some way, or whether it’s just something you’re doing for fun.
And every question needs an answer, so here are 5 things that playing air hockey can do for you!
1. Burn Calories
Many people don’t think of table sports as, well, sports at all. Understandably so, as they require a lot less in the way of raw physical effort than most other activities.
However, even a table sport like air hockey can be a decent workout, or a supplement to one.
Similar to table tennis, air hockey is what you would call a MET 4 activity, or something fairly close to it. This means it is roughly 4 times as strenuous as just sitting on your couch doing nothing for an hour.
That means depending on your weight, you could burn through a fair few calories playing a rousing game of air hockey. That’s about 280 to 300 calories burned for the average person; not too shabby if you ask me.
While playing air hockey for an hour won’t completely replace time spent doing a more thorough and strenuous workout, it’s a great way to burn off a heavy lunch or sweet treat you might otherwise feel guilty about.
Keep in mind this is air hockey’s calorie burning potential if you really get into it and give it all you’ve got; you can’t just casually or listlessly play and hope to get the same benefits.
Also, for you to be able to play the game properly, regular table maintenance should be observed. Here are simple ways to clean air hockey table.
2. Controlled Adrenaline Boosts
While it’s no competition for extreme sports like skydiving, competitive sports and games of all kinds bring out at least a bit of an adrenaline rush (and a whole lot of other happy chemicals too, especially if you win!).
Adrenaline has a lot of well known benefits in the moment; heightened reflexes and vision, strength, stamina, pain resistance, and enhanced decision making, but getting regular, controlled bursts of adrenaline can have long term health benefits as well, like slowing the physical aging process and boosting your immune system!
3. Enhanced Reflexes and Hand Eye Coordination
While not as fast as a major league pitch, air hockey pucks move surprisingly fast, made to seem all the faster by the incredibly short distances (usually a little over 6 feet) involved.
Keeping up with such a fast moving object requires some fast reflexes, and so air hockey and similar table sports (like ping pong) can be a great way to train your hand eye coordination and ability to predict fast moving objects like that.
This comes with an increase in quick decision making as well, as you don’t really have time to think things through while playing; you’ll need to be decisive and accurate.
4. Making New Friends
As with any competitive game, air hockey requires at least one other person to play against. This gives you ample opportunity to meet new people who, funnily enough, have ay least one major interest in common with you!
Meeting new people has all sorts of benefits, some that might not be intuitive. Yes, there’s the good feeling that making a new friend gives for sure; one of the most important things in the world, really.
However, there are some more tangible benefits here you might not think of.
The first is related to the game itself. If you find a friend who plays air hockey, as a newcomer, they likely have at least one other friend who also plays. This gives you an ever expanding net of new people to play with: many (if not all) of whom are bound to be better at the game than you.
Playing against people a little better than you is how you get better at any sport or game, and air hockey is no exception.
And then, outside of the game, that same concept applies. Knowing more people is always great, as networking is the most important part of many things in life, both professional and personal. You never know when meeting that new air hockey friend might mean the difference between getting that new promotion and not, or getting gouged by a contractor you don’t know!
5. It’s Fun!
A simple one, but worth mentioning. Sometimes all a game really needs to be is fun; no more and no less.
Everyone needs hobbies, or else they’ll go insane. Having something you enjoy is a benefit all its own, with hugely beneficial effects on your mental health.
But something being fun is a little more insidious (in a good way) than that. Playing a game you enjoy is going to encourage you to get better at it. Having a drive to improve at something is hugely beneficial in a ton of ways, particularly if you’re feeling like you’re in a rut in other parts of your life. By exploring fun activities you may even find yourself achieving new feats. If you’ve been working the same job for 10 or more years, even if you’re good at it, you’re going to start feeling the squeeze of that daily grind.
Having something to look forward to outside of work is helpful on its own, but having something new, that you’re starting at square one trying to get good at…that’s a whole other thing.
Picking up a new hobby like air hockey and pushing to improve allows you to have your cake and eat it too. The standard rules are easy to follow and the terms used when playing air hockey are easy to understand. By air hockey as a hobby, you can keep (and appreciate better!) your stable job and happy family, while mixing in something utterly new to spice things up.
This applies equally well to any other new hobby you might pick up, not just air hockey, so any time you start feeling like the game isn’t doing it for you anymore, you can move on to something else!