How Pickleball Helps People Stay Active, Healthy , and Feeling Great
Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in America — and for good reason. Over four million people partake in this low-impact sport for its many physical and mental benefits. Before we explore these benefits, let’s quickly review what pickleball actually is.
What is pickleball?
Pickleball is a sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping - pong. It involves hitting a lightweight, plastic ball with holes over a low net using a paddle. Whether you hav e zero athletic experience or you’re a trained athlete, pickleball is easy to learn and a great way to exercise your mind and body.
The benefits of pickleball
While pickleball is a fun, healthy activity for people of all ages, it’s become quite popular among the senior population. With a short paddle, light ball, small court, and games that last as little as 15 minutes, pickleball is an enjoyable and beneficial type of exercise for seniors. Here are some of the top benefits of this paddle sport :
1. Supports weight management
As you age, it’s important to maintain a healthy weight, as excess weight can place more strain on the lower extremity joints. Playing pickle ball is an effective way to burn some calories and build calorie-burning muscle, helping you achieve and maintain your weight loss goals.
2. Supports mental health
Pickleball supports mental health in a number of ways. It’s a social sport that can be played one-on-one or two-on-two. Since the court is quite small, there’s a lot of opportunity to communicate with the other players. Additionally, like tennis or ping-pong, playing pickleball simultaneously engages multiple areas of the brain, which can help you maintain excellent mental acuity. To top it off, the physical activity involved in pickleball releases feel-good endorphins and reduces the negative effects of stress, making players feel more positive and relaxed.
3. Offers cardiovascular benefits
While pickleball doesn’t have to involve intense activity, even an easy, friendly game is still more than enough to get your heart pumping. Regularly engaging in cardiovascular exercise makes the heart stronger and healthier, reducing your risk of heart attacks and strokes.
4. Supports bone and joint health
Not only is pickleball easy on the body, but it actually helps maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints. By engaging in a fun game of pickleball, you’ll be reducing your risk of osteoporosis and fractures, as well as controlling joint swelling and pain associated with arthritis.
5. Improves balance and control
Using your arms and legs together and engaging in varied movement s during a pickleball game improves balance, control, and coordination. This becomes helpful in everyday life to reduce your risk of falls.
The bottom line
While pickleball is a great activity for people of any age, it’s particularly beneficial for aging adults who are looking for a fun, social way to stay active. As with any exercise routine, start slowly and gradually increase your efforts as you feel ready. Even though pickleball is a low-impact sport, doing too much too soon can increase your risk of injury. The game can be as leisurely or intense as you make it, so find what feels best for you.
Ultimately, pickleball is not about winning, but about having fun with others, moving your body, and staying healthy. Get out there and have a blast!