(Special to Forty Plus and Fit)
More and more people these days regardless of age are looking for ways to improve their health. This makes Health and Fitness one of the fastest growing activities worldwide. One of the fastest growing activities, at least in the US has to be Pickleball. One of the primary reasons for this is that it knows no age boundary or limit. If you can hold a paddle and move your body around the court you can participate.
What is Pickleball?
Pickleball was first introduced to America by three men, Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum. The original game was played with paddles and a wiffleball. However, today, Pickleball is now played with a perforated ball designed specifically for Pickleball. The trio invented the game as a form of entertainment for their families.
As time went by it evolved into so much more than just a simple game. It is now being seen as an activity that is included in the discussion of Health and Fitness. It is being enjoyed by people all across the country and all ages can participate. All ages even including seniors of all ages as well.
Pickleball can be played inside or outside with the court resembling a Badminton court. However, the configuration of the net was borrowed from a tennis court and the paddle comes from the game of ping pong. The biggest change over time was the ball that is used, in the beginning, it was a wiffleball and now there is a specific ball that is designed for Pickleball.
Is Pickleball considered a sport or is it just a game?
Pickleball is put into the same category as all racket/paddle sports. While it was created as a family game in Bainbridge, Washington, it is now officially recognized as a sport. It has become so popular in the state of Washington it has become the official sport in Washington State. The sport of Pickleball can be played either as singles or doubles and the court is the same size as a doubles Badminton court.
What are the health benefits of playing Pickleball?
According to most health experts if you are looking to make improvements to your overall health you need to find some type of activity that you can do. By adding 30 to 60 minutes a day of physical activity every day you can make a significant difference in your overall health. For this article, we decided to include the five most significant health benefits of playing pickleball.
Top 5 Health benefits associated with playing Pickleball
Benefit #1 Improves mental health and mood – Mental health and mood go hand in hand and even moderate activity can encourage the body to release endorphins in the brain. These endorphins are linked to improved mood. Participating in group activities helps to improve social skills which also has been shown to improve overall mental health.
Benefit #2 Burning of excess calories – Burning calories is one of the main benefits of any type of physical activity. Excessive body fat is one of the leading causes of many diseases and other health concerns for people. The most notable being diabetes and heart disease. Heart disease is considered by most health experts the leading cause of death. Burning excess calories can also health improve your overall physical appearance.
Benefit #3 Improvement in your balance – Physical activity like Pickleball can help improve your balance. Pickleball requires a lot of movement and body control to play well. This can be very important to people who are getting up there in age when balance can be a concern. This is especially true for seniors who are looking to take up Pickleball.
Benefit #4 Helps with agility – Pickleball has a much slower pace than tennis and requires less strength. However, there is enough movement that can help tone your leg muscles. The motion can help both young people and older people improve agility. This can be a huge benefit for seniors who would ordinarily have to worry about injuries due to slips and falls.
Benefit #5 Helps to reduce health risks – According to health experts, physical activity is a great way to help ward off a long list of health concerns and risks. While participating in any sport does come with some degree of risk of injury, you can significantly reduce the health risks with additional activities like Pickleball.
Are there social benefits to the sport of Pickleball?
Pickleball can be a great way to meet new people with many groups and organizations adding pickleball to their club offerings. Pickleball is an exciting sport to watch and that makes it great for social gatherings.
Can seniors safely play Pickleball?
Pickleball is a very simple game to learn and it is also really fun to play. For these reasons alone it is something that most seniors that are not limited in mobility to be able to participate. While it shares some similarities to tennis, you don’t have to be a power server like Serena Williams to be good at Pickleball. It starts with the ball, which resembles a wiffleball and the paddle is an oversized ping pong paddle. These two aspects make it much more likely that a senior can play and enjoy it. The amount of physical activity is just what most doctors call for and with a little bit of caution, most seniors should be able to avoid any major or serious injuries.
If you are looking for a way that you and your family can improve your overall health, you may want to look into Pickleball. It is an activity that your whole family can enjoy together, even with grandma and grandpa. Many cities have opened facilities that include outdoor Pickleball courts that residents can use. Some groups and organizations have formed Pickleball leagues and even have local events. Pickleball has many health benefits that far outweigh the risks of injuries and that includes potential risks for seniors. You should have very little trouble finding a public or private facility that offers either an indoor or outdoor venue to play Pickleball close to you.