Ok, we all know that the main reason to play pickleball is that it’s tons of fun. But pickleball also has some great health benefits. So when you wind up spending hours and hours every summer afternoon down at the court, you can share these with your husband or wife to justify the time – it’s for your health!
Pickleball calories burned = A LOT
It might be hard to believe, but pickleball burns almost as many calories as running! It depends on how hard you play, of course, but an average sized lady like me can burn 500-700 calories per hour. I’ve definitely noticed a difference in my own level of fitness as I’ve started playing pickleball more often (and with more intensity) over the last year.
There are plenty of different pickleball exercise benefits
It’s not all about how many calories you burn, though of course as we get older it’s always nice to make sure we’re balancing calories in and calories out.
But pickleball is really the ultimate “everything” exercise! You get lots of cardio from running back and forth across the court. Your muscles will get a great workout whether your shifting your body to get that dink, jumping or serving. Changing directions is great for agility training. And even practicing different paddle grips is great for working out the small muscles in your hand and wrist.
Pickleball isn’t too hard on the body
While you can get a great workout playing pickleball, you’re less likely to hurt yourself than with lots of other sports! We use a shorter, lighter paddle than a tennis racquet and a smaller court that doesn’t require as much running back and forth.
Even if it’s been years since you hit the gym, you can still be a pickleball ace if you work hard on your technique. It’s all about the dink!
Mental health benefits of pickleball
When I’m playing singles pickleball, I get “in the zone” in ways that I just can’t when there are so many distractions around me at home. No phone distraction, no dogs barking, no dishes to wash.
I’m really able to focus in on the ball, my paddle and my breathing. Sometimes it’s almost meditative for me. As we get older, it’s important to practice that sharp mental focus so we don’t lose it!
Social health benefits of pickleball
One of the biggest advantages of pickleball is that you have to play with someone else, whether it’s your spouse, a friend or just a fellow pickleball lover you meet down at your local court. It’s a great way to connect with those you already know and also built new relationships around a common passion.
If you’re a recent empty nester like me, having the added structure in your day can be important for your well being. When I know that I have a 10am game scheduled, I wake up with energy and excitement and get myself ready and out of the house. I feel like on so many days when I don’t have pickleball on my schedule, I loaf around the house all morning and then beat myself up for not keeping more of a schedule.
That extra boost of structure and socialization is an especially important benefit of pickleball for seniors in our community. Even if they live alone, they know that there’s a fellow pickleball player who will be excited to see them. It’s a great way for seniors to stay active and build their social circles!
Ready to get started? Pick up your pickleball essentials here!