Pickleball is one of the fastest growing hobby sports in North America and when you add the health benefits associated with it to the fold, both physical and mental, it comes as no surprise why it’s garnering so much support across the region.
Sports, in general, have a lot of health benefits associated with them but more so in case of pickleball there’s an added advantage.
It is a kind of outdoor, physical sport which can be played by people of all ages including senior citizens and without having to endure the strain and pains associated with similar sports – like tennis or even badminton.
Below is a list of all the health benefits associated with pickleball, physical and mental. If you weren’t convinced about playing pickleball earlier, this should help you take that step closer towards making pickleball your go-to sport to aid your health.
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Health Benefits of Playing Pickleball
With people of all ages and genders able to play pickleball, the sport could well have a mass-effect of improving the health of communities. Mentioned here are some of the top physical and mental health advantages associated with playing pickleball.
Please note, while these health benefits from playing this sport are applicable to most, it is imperative you talk to your doctor before starting out something new including trying your hand at pickleball.
Any kind of physical activity helps regulate one’s weight by helping burn out the extra fat. It’s no different with pickleball but because it’s easier on the joints and a lot of fun as a social sport, it becomes easier than, say, a gym workout.
Every time you burn more calories than you consume, you lose weight and playing pickleball helps you burn those extra calories. According to CalorieJam.com, a person weighing 150 pounds can burn nearly 180 calories with just 30 minutes of pickleball.
This figure obviously depending on the kind of play, singles or doubles, mild or aggressive and other factors but the fact a fun activity like pickleball which isn’t too difficult to pick up too, can help in weight management makes it a go-to sport for many.
Pickleball is a form of aerobic exercise and these exercises are vital to keep our muscles strong.
As people age, the muscles start to weaken and the one way to prevent that is to practice aerobic exercising. Aerobic exercises are those which test one’s endurance and help improve one’s cardiovascular function.
Playing pickleball is one such way to get that and in turn increase one’s strength, even as one grows older.
Apart from strength, aerobic exercises like playing pickleball also aid one’s balance, even as one gets older.
Aids in Making us Agile & Flexible
Playing any sport is a way better way of keeping fit than plain walking for the simple reason it brings with it multiple-dimensioned motions, not just the forward motion associated with the former.
Pickleball, because its easier on the joints and uses a lighter paddle than, say a tennis racket, makes it easier to play. In turn, the aforementioned characteristics associated with playing a racket sport helps improve agility and hand-eye coordination.
With a lot of the body’s muscles being used while playing pickleball, it improves players’ flexibility as well.
Reduces Stress & Improves Mood
One of the biggest causes of most illnesses is stress. It’s a silent-killer and chronic stress has been known to be a cause of heart-related ailments. According to Heart.org, “Stress may lead to high blood pressure, which can pose a risk for heart attack and stroke.”
The way to overcome stress is to improve one’s mood by a variety of methods including physical activity. While regularly walking or working out in a gym are different ways of imbibing a culture to remain physically fit, the best way to do that is to play a sport.
Pickleball, for its very social nature and the fact it can be played by people of all ages without the worry of the strain associated with working out or playing a sport like tennis, makes it easier to reduce stress.
Helps Cardiovascular Health
This is an offshoot of the above point on stress management. Because of its ability to help reduce stress, one of the long-term benefits of playing pickleball is it indirectly aids your cardiovascular health.
The regular playing of pickleball, as a result, could be a contributor in reducing heart attacks and strokes as a result of a dropping blood pressure.
Improves Mental Health
There is a direct co-relation between physical activity and mental well-being. According to MedLinePlus.Gov, physical and mental health are connected and one of the ways to take care of one’s physical health is through physical exercise.
The same piece suggests, another way to improve one’s mental health is through connecting with other people and by developing a strong bond with others.
This could be through connections with family, friends and community & neighborhood.
And both of these factors can be achieved by playing pickleball. Since pickleball is easy on the joints, most people can play it but to add to that, it also helps forge great relationships with other people.
One of the common threads of discussion around pickleball is the very social nature of this sport and that goes a long way in helping improve one’s mental health.
Lesser Risk of Injury
While no sport is totally immune to the risks of injury, pickleball has a far lesser one than most other outdoor racket sports like tennis.
The style of play is such that it makes it easier on the body, reduces strain on joints and muscles and with the game time of a match being far lesser than a sport like tennis, pickleball can get very competitive even for those who cannot play for longer times.
Benefits the Brain
According to an article in amenclinics.com, there are multiple ways in which playing pickleball does not just help our physical health but also benefits our brain.
Playing a sport like pickleball improves the flow of blood to one’s brain’s prefontal cortex, improves cerebellum function, increases the gray matter, enhances the hippocampus, improves mood, reduces cognitive impairment and helps keep the brain from growing old.
Final Words on the Health Benefits of Playing Pickleball
There are many physical and mental health benefits which can be achieved from playing pickleball. These include a decrease in weight, an increase in flexibility, strength and balance, help in cardiovascular health, reduction of stress and prevention of dangerous ailments.
The biggest advantage of playing pickleball is it’s not a difficult sport to either master or play and even more importantly can be played by all age men and women unlike tennis which is hard on the body.