Get Fit With Badminton

Badminton, the fastest racket sport in the world, is great fun and provides an effective workout for the whole family!

Fastest Racket Sport in the World

Badminton has been around for almost 140 years. It began in India in the mid 1800’s where it was played by British officers who brought the game home when they retired. While at first it was a leisurely game for the upper class at garden parties, it is now the fastest racket sport in the world. In top-level matches the shuttlecock can reach speeds of over 200 miles an hour.

Simple To Learn

But of course it can be a fun game for families as well. The game is simple to learn. Much like tennis, opponents use a racket to hit a feathered “bird” over the net to each other.  Every time your opponent fails to return the bird over the net or hits it out of bounds, you get a point. A game is won when a side reaches 21 points, however, the winning side must win by at least two points. It is played in singles or doubles. Badminton is played by children all over the world. The sport combines agility, speed, power, strategy and healthy competition. Doubles matches are particularly fun for families since parents can pair with their kids to even up the sides. While official matches are played on regulation courts, if you can string up a simple net and grab a racket, you can have a game anywhere.

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Great Exercise

As a family, getting into badminton can be as simple as getting out in the backyard and learning to hit the bird back and forth. It might look easy, but fifteen minutes of rallying back and forth is a work out when you first start. Badminton is great for eye hand coordination, and for large muscle groups as well and the game is a fun and exciting way to develop these skills. The game will also build quick reflexes and reaction time. Even beginners will be able to get the bird to fly pretty fast and far, and being able to return the bird back over the net time after time can improve cardiovascular fitness.

Play With Family & Friends

Badminton is unique in that parents and children can learn together. The game is not dependent on being taller, bigger or older than your opponent. Badminton requires concentration, quick moves, and strategy and players of all ages can get these skills playing together. Since badminton is often an indoor sport, families can find places to play year round. Community centers that have gyms will often offer court time and put up nets on a drop in basis so parents and their kids can find space to learn the game with other families. This is particularly nice in colder weather when it’s difficult to find a fun way for children and adults to get fit and have fun together.

Go Further

Badminton can be an addicting sport, but in a good way. Young children especially pick up the game very fast and once they have the basics down, they usually want to play more. Unlike other sports where size and great strength is needed to get to an elite level, badminton players can compete in regional and national tournaments as young as 10 years old. Nation organizations such as USA Badminton and US Junior Badminton provide training, tournaments and resources for players of all ages.

Brenda Kelley Kim

Brenda Kelley Kim is a writer from Marblehead, Massachusetts where she writes a weekly column in the Marblehead Reporter about family life. Brenda is a member of the Gut 'n Feathers Badminton Club where she formerly served on the board as House Chair, and is currently on the board of Marblehead Youth Badminton as the Secretary. She has been playing badminton for years but only recently started training with Gut 'n Feathers Coach Nick Vered and competing in tournaments. Brenda has three children all of whom play badminton recreationally.

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