From Health Fitness Revolution: A casual game known for its ubiquitous presence in bars and pubs (even coining the name pool hall), billiards is a catchall term for the tabletop game played that requires pool sticks (or cues) to hit hard balls into one of six pockets. The game can be played casually, as an amateur and even on the professional level. Each round of billiards, whatever game type one chooses to play, is uniquely presented and requires players to be mentally agile and physically adept.
Here are the Top 10 from Health Fitness Revolution and author of the book ReSYNC Your Life Samir Becic:
- Slows aging – Beer and billiards have become a staple for socializing among men and with good reason! According to a recent study from the University of Copenhagen, drinking beer while playing a game of pool with friends can help keep older men active due to the exchange between active activity and passive activity during a round of pool. This can help combat the aging process by providing the elderly a casual activity that still utilizes the use of their muscles.
- Helps build focus – Playing pool requires a great amount of focus and concentration. Your ability to focus on a given objective is essential in achieving happiness and attaining goals. In billiards, players must focus on their targets (the cue ball and the target ball), the angle of their own cue, the angle the cue ball will move in once it is hit and if the cue ball will strike the target ball.
- Burns calories – There is a surprising amount of beneficial walking involved in a round of pool: a typical 2-hour 8-ball or 9-ball session often provides 100 trips
around the table’s perimeter, which is about equal to walking nearly three-quarters of a mile. Playing multiple games of pool will stack up these distances and burn even more calories!
- Enables stretching and balance – Playing requires a lot more stretching than a person would not normally do. Having to bend across the table top to reach the cue ball at a desired angle requires a player to be moderately flexible, especially with complex shots. Pool also enhances balance as the game requires you to stand on one foot at certain time, promoting stability.
- Helps build control – Studies have shown that individuals who play cue sports like pool are less likely to panic amid crisis.The levelheadedness of those who play concentration games are able to think clearly and logically, enabling them examine the most pertinent facts and details and encourage them to go into action without becoming hysterical.
- Sharpens the mind – Those who frequently play billiards and pool often have sharper minds. Pool requires performing mental mathematical estimates and calculations, such as basic geometry and physics. These skills are necessary to calculate precise angles and trajectories and to determine how much force to apply during a strike so as not to under or overshoot a target. Having a sharp mind enables one to think on their feet faster and pick up on little details.
- Hones good hand-eye coordination – Playing pool can also increase your eye-and-hand coordination. In the above bullet regarding how pool can sharpen the mind, all that is for nothing if the player cannot apply those calculations to the table. The hand-eye coordination involved is a crucial factor in winning a game of pool. Your hands become swift and agile and can perform minute, finite tasks.
- Fun for all ages – Anyone can play this activity regardless of age and sex, so playing these games can be a regular family event. From your youngest nephew who wants to stab the 8-ball into a pocket, to your spouse’s great grandmother, billiards is leisure activity that anyone can learn and anyone can play, ensuring that everyone gets a turn around the table.
- Tones muscles – The physical benefits of playing pool include low-impact toning of the back, hip and leg muscles pertaining to continuous bending and reaching to
facilitate arm/hand setups and the exercises found in cue-stroking movements.
- Improves cognitive skills – The mental stimulation of pool is rich and variable, owing to the virtually infinite table layouts that each broken rack presents. These layouts challenge the player’s imagination, visualization and creative problem-solving skills and requires constant improvisation in
order to pocket balls and achieve good position on further shots as