7 Surprising Health Benefits of Playing Pickleball

Are you tired of the same old exercise routine? Do you want to try something new that is not only fun but also great for your health? Look no further…we have the answer. It’s  pickleball! And it’s taking the country by storm!

For those of you new to pickleball, it’s a paddle sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping pong.  It’s  played on a court with a low net, and the objective is to hit a small plastic ball over the net and into the opponent's court. It’s played with a paddle (we use paddles from the big dink).  

Pickleball is easy to learn and can be played no matter what your age is and without experience. That’s right–no experience needed and it’s super easy to learn. It’s typically played on a tennis court but the playing area is much smaller. This makes it more accessible as we get older.  If you’ve played pickleball, I’m sure you know how much fun it is. But, did you know that playing pickleball also has tons of health benefits? Let's take a closer look at seven health benefits of playing pickleball:

  1. Improves Cardiovascular Health: Pickleball is a great cardiovascular workout. It gets your heart rate up and helps to improve your overall cardiovascular health. When playing, there’s alot of jumping, running and quick movements. These all help to strengthen the heart and lungs. 
  2. Enhances Balance and Coordination: Pickleball requires a lot of balance and coordination. You need to be able to move quickly, change directions, and hit the ball accurately. As you might expect, quick movements like this helps with overall balance and coordination, which can be beneficial for your overall athletic performance.
  3. Promotes Weight Loss: Pickleball is so much fun, you forget it’s actually a great workout! I can’t think of a more fun way to burn calories. This equates to weight loss. On average, if you play for one hour, you’ll burn around 500 calories!
  4. Increases Flexibility: Playing pickleball requires a lot of stretching and movement, which can help to improve your flexibility. As you play, almost every muscle group will be used. You’ll be moving your arms, legs, and back–and moving them  in so many different directions. This is beneficial because it can help to loosen up your muscles and improve your overall flexibility.
  5. Low-Impact Exercise: Pickleball is a low-impact exercise, which means that it is easy on your joints. This makes it an excellent option for people who have joint pain or other conditions that make high-impact exercise difficult. 
  6. Social Benefits: Pickleball is a social game, which means that it can be a great way to meet new people and make new friends. Playing with others can also be a great way to stay motivated and keep you motivated–especially on the days you don’t feel like playing (or exercising). 
  7. Mental Health Benefits: Finally, playing pickleball can have numerous mental health benefits. If you’ve got stress or anxiety, this can definitely reduce it. It’s also been shown to improve your mood, and boost your overall mental well-being. Basically, the dopamine released when playing makes you feel good! Plus, the social aspect of the game can help anyone suffering from loneliness. Having a sense of connection and community is a huge aspect and a great benefit from playing pickleball. 

Playing pickleball is not only fun, but as you can tell, it  has so many health benefits. We’ve only scratched the surface! Perhaps the best part is the benefits are like the cherry on top. Meaning, you’re having so much fun playing, you forget it’s a workout or the fact that there are countless health benefits. An easy to understand example would be those playing outdoors in the sun. They’re getting Vitamin D. Vitamin D is the only vitamin we make in our bodies–and it’s free! You just have to go outside in the sun. Unfortunately, that’s not feasible for those stuck in an office all day. Let’s not forget pickleball is also  a great way to improve your cardiovascular health, enhance your balance and coordination, promote weight loss, increase flexibility,  reap social benefits (and meet new people), and get the added mental health benefits by reducing anxiety and loneliness.  Sounds pretty good, right? So, why not give it a try? You never know, you might just fall in love with this exciting and rewarding sport. 

For those that decide to try it out, your next step is looking for a place to play. This is a free resource that find pickleball courts near you at The Big Dink. But for those who want to play in the comfort of you’re own yard or driveway,  this is our favorite pickleball net. If you do buy your own pickleball net, I’m expecting an invite!  Can’t wait to see you on the courts!