Chances are good that you have heard of pickleball before, especially considering that there are almost five million pickleball players in the United States. It has been the fastest-growing sport for the last several years.
There are almost five million pickleball players in the United States and it has been the fastest-growing sport for the last several years.
Health benefits of pickleball include improved cardiovascular fitness and mental health.
Pickleball provides social interaction and is relatively inexpensive to play.
Anyone, regardless of age or skill level, can reap the benefits associated with playing pickleball.
If you aren’t familiar with the sport, pickleball combines various elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong. There are many benefits to pickleball, making it an excellent choice for a hobby or exercise in the new year.
Benefits of pickleball
1. Cardiovascular fitness
A study conducted at Western State Colorado University found that pickleball elevates the heart rate to around 109 beats per minute with an average calorie burn of 354 calories per hour, classifying it as a moderate-intensity exercise. Additionally, the study showed favorable improvements in both cholesterol levels and blood pressure in pickleball participants. These factors indicate that pickleball is a great exercise option for those looking to improve their cardiovascular fitness.
2. Mental health improvement
A well-known benefit of exercise is improved mental health, and pickleball is no exception. Studies have shown that thirty minutes of moderate-intensity exercise three days a week can increase overall energy and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. Since pickleball is classified as a moderate-intensity exercise, it is a great option for achieving those mental health benefits.
3. Social interaction
Pickleball is often played in teams of two, with four people on the court at a time. This allows for ample time to socialize before, during, and after rounds. Being able to physically exercise and socialize at the same time is a benefit for players with busy lifestyles who may not have time for both activities at different times.
While many pickleball players make predetermined plans and teams, some players show up alone and play on randomly assigned teams, thus making pickleball a great way to meet new people. Also, many big cities have embraced pickleball and have even made large restaurants and other social venues where pickleball can be played while enjoying food, drinks, and socializing.
4. Anyone can play
There is a common misconception that pickleball is only for senior citizens. While it is true that pickleball does provide an excellent workout for older adults, it can be played by people of all ages and skill levels.
The ball used for pickleball is lighter than a traditional tennis ball, allowing for easier hitting. Also, the paddle is double the size of a racquetball paddle which requires less hand-eye coordination to make contact with the ball. These factors lend themselves to making pickleball a great option for older players who may have less muscle mass or coordination.
That is not to say that pickleball is not challenging. The sport does require a fair amount of agility and fitness, making it a great option for people who are more physically fit and are looking for a new way to exercise.
5. Reasonable costs
The average cost of a gym membership is around $37 per month, which can add up quickly. The cost to play pickleball includes the paddle, balls, and court time. Pickleball paddles can be purchased for under $20, with a six-pack of balls for around $10 or less.
The other cost associated with pickleball is court time. However, many pickleball courts are public and free to access, making this sport an extremely reasonable financial option when compared to a traditional gym membership. There are also private pickleball facilities available for an additional cost. These facilities often include other amenities such as a locker room and showers, making the price tag worth it if you play often.
There are many pickleball associations throughout the United States that host tournaments, with the largest one being the Pro Pickleball Association. While a lot of pickleball players prefer to solely use the sport for exercise and social benefits, many others play competitively. For people that like competition, this is a huge benefit of participating in the sport.
Pickleball is one of the most popular and versatile sports in that it does not discriminate against players of any age, gender, or skill level. It provides many health benefits, both physical and mental, and allows players to have social interaction at the same time. It is also reasonably priced, making it a solid exercise option for nearly everyone.
If you are looking for a new, fun way to get some exercise in the new year, you should consider giving pickleball a try. You can start by looking at your local parks and recreation department website to see if there are any pickleball courts near you and easily order your paddle and balls online at retailers. With so many benefits, it’s worth trying at least once!