The Healthiest and Fastest Growing Sport – Pickleball
By the year 2030, the number of Americans over the age of 65 is estimated to reach 70 million, and adults over 85 will be the fastest growing segment of the US population. As we turn our attention to the many impacts this will have on all aspects of American society, it is increasingly important that we make those later years as vital, healthy, and enjoyable as possible. We do not want an aging population that spends the last decades of their lives sick, dependent, in pain, and unhappy.
Investigators have also taken note of the positive social aspect of pickleball. A study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology in Oct 2017 by researchers from Florida State University, the University of Georgia and Texas A&M University surveyed a total of 153 pickleball players between the ages of 51 and 85, at pickleball competitions. They found that the camaraderie among pickleball players had a positive impact on the players lives. The more deeply involved they were with the sport, the more likely they were to have a positive outlook on the aging process and were more satisfied with their current lives.
Learn about the top benefits of Pickleball and how it can help with many of your health issues while having fun at the same time! Read the next page to continue.
The Benefits of Playing Pickleball
In order to maintain or improve health, adults over 65 should make physical activity and moderate exercise part of their daily routine.
Pickleball is a good source of moderate physical activity. The ideal exercise recommendations for older adults are:
To maintain health and prevent degeneration: 150 minutes a week of moderate activity
Moderate activity improves circulation and lung function, as well as overall fitness. It can be undertaken in 20 minutes a day, or two 10-minute intervals a day. Intervals shorter than 10 minutes have reduced cardiovascular benefits
Basic Pickleball Equipment You Need To Play Pickleball
In order to start playing pickleball you will need the following:
Pickleball Shoes: A good pair of proper fitting shoes is key! A lot of people have worn tennis shoes for nearly everything BUT tennis. When starting out in pickleball, we tell people your SHOES ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT piece of pickleball equipment you’ll buy. Make sure to wear shoes specifically designed for the sport, since they will give you the extra grip and stability you need, while cushioning impact and preventing injury.
Tyrol Pickleball shoes are about to hit the market. We would highly recommend signing up to be on the list. If you want the best shoes, Tyrol Pickleball will provide the most comfort and the best fit for hours of play on the court.
Physical Activity Studies
A wide range of studies have shown that the best way to ensure health in longevity is to regularly engage in physical activity. Even moderate exercise has been shown to improve all aspects of health with virtually no negative side effects, and the body remains trainable and adaptable into the 80s and 90s. And yet, by the age of 75, 33% of men and 50% of women engage in no physical activity at all. In fact, studies show that many of the physical symptoms we associate with old age, like weakness and loss of balance, are actually symptoms of inactivity and lack of exercise.
Learn how Seniors all over the world are staying healthy by playing Pickleball.
Pickleball For Seniors
Among activities recommended to improve health in older adults, Pickleball has received a lot of attention. Pickleball is a popular sport and growing sport, played by almost 6 million in the US and more recently people all over the world are picking up the sport. Here’s a quick video pointing out some of the features that are attracting so many seniors to Pickleball.
In addition, many older people are increasingly socially isolated, and loneliness is associated with a broad range of negative health outcomes. Loneliness increases stress hormones in the body, increases blood pressure, and weakens the immune system. Isolated seniors have as much as a 64% higher risk for developing dementia over those with regular social contact. Actual or perceived social isolation has been shown to correlate to more than a 29% higher rate of mortality in the elderly.
See how you can improve your aerobic capacity just by practicing Pickleball once per week.
Pickleball Improves Aerobic Capacity
One study proved that tennis players had higher maximum oxygen uptake, compared with normally active non-tennis playing control participants.
Another showed that in sedentary, middle-aged volunteers, playing tennis 3 times a week for 30 minutes at a time over 20 weeks improved their endurance by 5.7%. Most readers we surveyed played Pickleball for longer than 30 mins, with the average playing session lasting between 60 and 90 mins.
Discover how playing Pickleball can actually reduce your obesity on the next page.
Does Pickleball Reduce Obesity?
The British showed that recreational tennis players ages 23-69 who play on average of twice a week have 3.5% less body fat than age-matched controls.
Studies also show that veteran tennis players over the age of 60 are, on average, 3% leaner than non-tennis playing moderately active control participants. Although the Pickleball court is smaller than a tennis court, based on the similar movements between the two sports we can assume that Pickleball also helps reduce obesity albeit to a slightly lesser degree.
See how it can improve hyperlipidaemia on the next page..
Does Pickleball Improve Hyperlipidaemia?
Among a group of male senior tennis players aged 40-60+ who were compared with moderately active age-matched controls, there were no differences for overall cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, or triglycerides. However, the tennis players overall had an average of HDL cholesterol of .21mmol greater than the controls. The 60+ year old tennis players had an average HDL cholesterol .06mmol greater than their age-matched controls.
Learn how it can help with your hand-eye coordination next.
Pickleball Improves And-Eye Coordination
Racket sports in general have been showed to improve hand-eye coordination, specially with people that play regularly over a longer periord of time. Improving coordination can have positive benefits that overflow in to other aspects of life such as overall ability to execute daily tasks and improves reaction times.
Because the ball is hit in random patterns, Pickleball is unpredictable, requiring players to be attentive and responsive. This improves physical agility, balance, and overall fitness. The need for the mind to be attentive and responsive also improves cognitive function and memory
Pickleball Is Very Social
Social isolation is associated with a wide array of health risks and emotional difficulties. Pickleball involves regular, healthful, enjoyable interactions which not only alleviate isolation, but make the game more engaging and encourage regular participation.
These are many of the reasons why Pickleball is an ideal source of physical activity and enjoyment for older adults.Because the game is social and fun, easy to learn and simple to play, it engages players of all ages and ability levels, paying off for decades to come.
As we look to solve the personal and social problems of an aging population, it has become clear that regular physical activity contributes to health and well-being in every aspect of life.