How To Prevent And Manage Diabetes With Pickleball

Individuals who have diabetes or wish to prevent developing diabetes often look at new ways to stay in shape and improve their blood sugar and insulin. One way to do this is to regularly play pickleball. This game was introduced to the world in 1965 after a family combined elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis. Because diabetes can have lasting effects on an individual's whole body, it is critical for them to maintain a good level of fitness to keep their body healthy. Pickleball can be a fun way to manage and prevent diabetes due to the following reasons.

Helps Manage Blood Sugar


As mentioned before, insulin helps keep blood sugar within the correct range. It reduces and increases the amount of sugar in the blood depending on the body's needs. Individuals with diabetes lack insulin, and as a result, they are unable to control the amount of blood sugar in their body easily. If left untreated, this can cause certain organs like the kidneys, liver, heart, and even the nerves to be damaged. 

They may experience vision loss or even suffer from a stroke. Their organs may start to shut down because the cells are no longer receiving the energy they need to perform their jobs. Pickleball helps manage blood sugar because it helps in the production of insulin. This is because, in turn, pickleball requires individuals to stay fit and move around. While it isn't as daunting as tennis, it does provide enough of a work out to ensure the individual's heart is pumping and cells are demanding more sugar.

Helps With Weight Management


One of the leading risks of developing diabetes is gaining weight. Both individuals looking to prevent diabetes as well as current patients can benefit greatly from losing excess weight and maintaining a healthy weight. This is because when an individual is overweight, the body has to use more sugar to feed all of the cells. This can wear out the pancreas, which is responsible for creating insulin. When that occurs, individuals will have an insulin deficit, often causing diabetes. Being overweight can also make it more difficult for the body to receive insulin and regulate blood sugar. Clogged arteries often also come with being overweight, making it difficult for blood to travel through those arteries to reach their designated targets.

Reduces The Risk Of Heart Disease And Stroke

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Individuals with diabetes are also at an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, which is why managing diabetes and reducing the risk of these conditions go hand in hand. In many instances, exercise is the simplest key to doing this, which is where pickleball comes in. Pickleball is particularly beneficial as the impact of the sport can be as high or low as each player chooses. This makes pickleball a great sport of choice for individuals just starting out with exercising or for those who need to be mindful of their joints, as many diabetes patients do. Because players are moving and stressing their bodies in a good way, they keep their heart healthy and pumping regularly, managing a whole host of potentially ill effects of diabetes, including heart disease and strokes.

Improves Insulin Sensitivity


When we hear about diabetes, we usually also hear the word insulin associated with it. Unless individuals already have diabetes, however, they may not know what role insulin plays in their life. Consider insulin as a key that unlocks the cells to use the sugar in the blood. Without insulin, the cell cannot use sugar, and it needs to in order to function. If individuals happen to have more sugar than their cells need, insulin takes the excess sugar and stores it in the liver instead. 

When blood sugar is low, insulin comes to the liver again to take sugar out and put it in the blood. As is clear, insulin plays an important role in the body's blood sugar and the functionality of cells overall. Pickleball improves insulin sensitivity because the game is active enough to keep individuals moving, and as a result, the body needs more sugar and energy to keep up.

Reduces Blood Pressure


A final aspect in which pickleball prevents and manages diabetes is it reduces blood pressure. High blood pressure causes the arteries in the body to thicken and become inflexible, making it difficult for blood to flow through those arteries. It can even sometimes form a clot, which can cause a stroke or heart attack. By playing pickleball, diabetes patients, as well as others, can keep their blood pressure normalized and prevent high blood pressure from occurring, lessening the severity of symptoms. 

Individuals who already suffer from high blood pressure may not be able to participate in high impact exercises because it can cause strain their arteries too badly. Pickleball is a safe option for exercise even for these patients because it is considered a moderate impact activity players can also tailor to their skill level and needs.


    HealthPrep Staff