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The 6 Benefits of Pickleball and why you should start playing

October 20th, 2023 | 3 min. read

By Jen Azevedo

Unless you have been under a rock for the last ten years, you probably know that there is one sport getting all the attention these days. Yup, it’s pickleball. 

Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in the US, and its biggest fans are no longer the gray-haired retirees. It’s the kiddos ages 25-34 who make up the largest age bracket at 40%, with the average age of a pickler at 35.

The Association of Pickleball Professionals (APP) reported research that 48.3 million adult Americans – almost 19% of the adult population – have played pickleball at least once in the past year. At this point, it is believed that pickleball will continue to grow in popularity, and the stats will increase significantly.

Pickleball is easy to learn, a great way to stay fit, and is a social sport with newbies and advanced players regularly playing together. 

The Paseo Club is a social club in the Santa Clarita Valley that offers pickleball courts, drills, tournaments, leagues, and fundraisers for players of all levels. 

In this article, we will share all the benefits of pickleball — physical, mental, and social and why it is a great sport for you to learn, regardless of your age or fitness level. 

The 6 Benefits of playing pickleball

Comp_LAFirefighter_Pickleball4Pickleball is a sport that is accessible to almost everyone, young and old, kids and adults, the super fit, and those new to exercise.

 

1. Pickleball benefits overall fitness


Pickleball is a great sport for a full-body workout. It tones your muscles and improves your balance. The game increases stability, helping you avoid falls when performing regular daily activities. It can also help improve coordination. 

Pickleball helps to increase endurance, and the stop-and-start nature of the game requires bursts of energy that can enhance anaerobic fitness. 

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week — an easy target to hit for picklers who play three times per week. 

2. Pickleball benefits cardio health

Colton in the kitchen (2)-minPickleball involves quick movements — constant running or shuffling and fast-paced rallies. These activities increase the heart rate and improve cardiovascular fitness

A healthy cardiovascular system can lower the chance of heart disease, strokes, and elevated blood pressure.


3. Pickleball benefits cognitive function


Research shows that pickleball prevents memory decline and improves memory. This is significant for seniors, but is important for people of all ages. 

Engaging in non-contact athletic activities that require motor coordination is shown to prevent the onset and delay the progression of various types of dementia. Pickleball may even reverse, reduce, or delay the onset of Parkinsons.

Pickleball requires players to make quick decisions, strategize, and react to constantly changing situations on the court. This dynamic environment enhances mental agility, stimulates the brain, and sharpens problem-solving skills. 

Regularly playing pickleball can help improve hand-eye coordination and concentration — adding to your overall cognitive function.

4. Pickleball benefits people with joint issues

While many sports, such as running, tennis, and high-intensity interval training, aggravate joints, preventing people with injuries or arthritis from playing, pickleball is a low-impact activity. This means pickleball is safe for everyone to participate in. 

It is also an adaptable game, allowing individuals of all abilities and ages to play at their own pace. 

The sport's gentle movements and short sprints help maintain mobility and flexibility, which can potentially strengthen joints, minimizing pain and stiffness.   

5. Pickleball benefits stress reduction

comp_IMG-1084Pickleball reduces stress for several reasons.

  • Exercising reduces stress levels and supports a good nights sleep
  • The social and interactive nature of the game creates a sense of belonging 
  • Exercise triggers the release of endorphins, promoting a feeling of well-being
  • The focus required during play can divert a persons attention from personal struggles
  • Pickleball is fun and helps people laugh, relax, and feel an increased sense of happiness

According to the NIH (National Institute of Health), “Pickleball shows potential as a new tool to work and improve people’s mental health.” Perhaps a game of pickleball will be the newest prescription from psychiatrists?

6. Pickleball benefits social needs

Pickleball meets players' social needs because it provides a platform for interaction, camaraderie, and mentor/mentee relationships, resulting in community building on the court. 

Playing pickleball encourages social engagement since players often join teams, fostering friendship and friendly competition. 

Pickleball gatherings and clubs create a sense of belonging and provide opportunities to connect with others who share a common interest and love of pickleball.

One bonus, yet unsubstantiated benefits of pickleball…

compressedIMG_7026 (1) (3)A certain regional pickleball director and coach conducted personal research about the benefits of pickleball. He discovered that really attractive people play pickleball. This leads you to wonder, will pickleball help make dating apps obsolete???

Playing your first game of pickleball

There are dozens of good (and well-researched) reasons that indicate just about everyone should play pickleball. It has physical, mental, emotional, and social benefits that can enhance your quality of life.  

More than any other sport, pickleball is accessible to the most varied demographics, making it The People’s Sport. You do not have to be young, ultra-fit, or have the most nubile joints to get in on the action. Pickleball can be played at varying levels of intensity so you and your pickleball-crazed buddies can play as you want to. 

If you are starting from scratch, consider doing a little reading about the sport, talk to your friends about it, and then sign up for a beginner’s class. Attending a few drills will help you learn the terminology, the rules, and the fundamentals of the game. Remember, with pickleball, you are never too old to learn!

The Paseo Club is a community-focused hub that offers over 60 fitness classes each week, and facilities for pickleball, tennis, and swimming. 

We love to foster a sense of connection among our members — which is why we host several member mixers, competitions, fundraisers, and other seasonal events every month.

If you are interested in learning pickleball or are excited to vary your fitness routine, come check out the Paseo Club. You can schedule a tour any day of the week to learn more about the club and meet staff and members.

Jen Azevedo

Jen Azevedo is a tennis professional, pickleball professional, personal trainer, group exercise instructor, and the general manager of the Paseo Club. She loves the community at the Paseo Club and that it is also a safe and fun place for her daughter. Jen’s favorite activities are joining her tribe for trail races or her partners for tennis matches. Occasionally Jen slows down to relax with a book — she reads over 100 a year!