Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in the U.S. and for a good reason. It appeals to people of a variety of different ages and skill levels, is easy for beginners to pick up, and is relatively inexpensive. Not to mention, it’s an absolute blast! I first began playing pickleball two years ago and currently play 3 to 4 times a week and am only continuing to improve my skills.
Playing pickleball is not only a fun and engaging activity, but also offers numerous health benefits:
Social connections play a vital role in extending health span. They influence both physical and mental health, contribute to disease prevention, and improve injury and illness recovery. Pickleball involves a significant amount of social interaction and offers the opportunity to make meaningful social connections with both your partner and opponents. Whether it’s going to play pickleball with your friends, joining a league, or going to a court to play pickup with strangers, the sport offers endless and easy ways to engage with others and forge meaningful social connections. I’ve personally made many new friends through pickleball that I wouldn’t have met otherwise!
Cardiovascular Fitness and Weight Management
Pickleball involves constant movement, including lateral, forward, and backward motions. This aerobic exercise helps improve cardiovascular health by increasing your heart rate and promoting better circulation. The aerobic exercise involved in pickleball also works to burn calories, which makes it a great activity to partake in for weight management or loss.
Joint Health and Flexibility
Unlike high-impact sports, pickleball is gentle on the joints, which makes it a great option for older individuals or people with joint issues. Pickleball involves both upper and lower body movements, which works to promote joint flexibility and reduce stiffness since you’re working multiple muscle groups. At 70, I’m usually one of the oldest people on the court, but that doesn’t stop me from playing with younger friends who keep me on my toes. Don’t let age discourage you from playing!
Improved Balance and Coordination
Pickleball involves a lot of quick movements, agility, and precise hand-eye coordination. If you’re trying to prevent injury, improve your posture, or are older and trying to reduce your risk of falls, pickleball is a great way to hone in on improving your overall balance and coordination.
Whether you’re looking for a fun way to stay active or a new social outlet, pickleball is a great way to improve your overall health. I hope this blog post encourages you to try pickleball, and if you do, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!