Let’s be honest: everyone loves playing pickleball — be it kids, adults, or elders. But while it’s an amazing sport for young people, is pickleball good for seniors? That we’ll find out in this guide.
Simply put, pickleball is an excellent sport for seniors as it keeps their bodies in motion, ensuring they stay fit, agile, and healthy. Plus, it gives them a great way to spend their leisure time and overcome anxiety and depression they may face when they have nothing else to do.
Keep reading to explore why pickleball is good for seniors in detail.
Table of Contents
- Is Pickleball Good For Seniors?
- Why Is Pickleball Good For Seniors?
- The Bottom Line
Is Pickleball Good For Seniors?
Pickleball is great for seniors as it’s played on smaller courts than other racket games and requires less running from players. Also, it’s easy to play for seniors as it’s played with softball and a low-impact paddle that put less stress on player muscles. As pickleball keeps seniors moving, their ankles, hips, and other joints stay healthy and robust.
Speaking of the minimal stress on joints and muscles, it makes pickleball suitable for seniors, helping them keep up with their exercise guidelines. Data reveals people aged between 40-85 who played Pickleball thrice a week for an hour each saw improvements in their cholestrol and blood pressure.
Why Is Pickleball Good For Seniors?
While we’ve already mentioned the major benefits of playing pickleball, let’s now explore why pickleball is good for seniors in detail!
1. Light Aerobic Exercise
As seniors age, joint and muscle pains can become increasingly problematic, leading to limited mobility and decreased physical activity. However, playing pickleball offers a solution by incorporating movement into your life as a senior and providing various health benefits.
Not only does playing pickleball help improve the circulatory system, but a single hour of play can burn over 500 calories, allowing seniors to maintain a healthy weight and overall physical wellness.
In addition, the low-impact nature of pickleball provides light aerobic exercise, which helps regulate blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and lung function. With its numerous physical and mental benefits, pickleball is an excellent option for seniors looking to stay active and healthy.
2. Social Activity
Pickleball is a great way to stay socially active and connect with others. Whether playing doubles or singles, the sport provides opportunities to meet new people and form social connections on the court.
Being socially active is essential for maintaining good mental health, and pickleball offers a fun and engaging way to do so. Instead of feeling isolated at home, seniors can enjoy a leisurely game with friends and other players.
3. Low Impact Activity
Pickleball is an excellent choice for seniors who are looking for low-impact physical activity. Unlike more strenuous sports such as ping-pong or badminton, pickleball is gentle on the body while still providing a fast-paced, dynamic workout.
It’s important to engage in low-impact exercises like pickleball to keep the body in motion and build strength. The wrist-based movements involved in pickleball improve coordination without putting stress on the shoulders or arms, making it a great option for seniors with joint or mobility concerns.
4. Easy to Learn
Pickleball is a popular racket sport that combines elements of badminton, tennis, and ping-pong. The simple and easy-to-learn rules make it accessible to new players, including seniors. With just a few days of practice, seniors can develop a fast-paced and competitive game that rivals even experienced young players.
One of the key skills in pickleball is serving the ball diagonally, which is the foundation for a healthy and fun game. Whether you’re a seasoned player or a beginner, pickleball is a great way to stay active and improve your overall health and well-being. So, why not give it a go and see for yourself?
5. Sharper Brain Focus
Seniors often struggle with dementia, a condition that leads to progressive or persistent loss of intellectual functioning. However, social interaction, light exercise, and brain stimulation can help slow down memory loss and improve overall health and well-being. Pickleball offers all of these benefits, making it an excellent choice for seniors struggling with poor intellectual functionality.
Playing pickleball provides not only light physical activity but also an opportunity for social interaction and brain stimulation. Keeping track of the rules, learning pickleball lingo, and remembering the score all help boost cognitive functions and improve brain focus. By incorporating pickleball into their daily routine, seniors can slow down memory loss and lead a healthier life.
6. Simple Rules
Pickleball is one of the quirkiest games out there, and it’s equally simple to play. If you are a senior, it’s understandable that learning and memorizing hundreds of rules isn’t possible. So, just remember these five rules to get high scores on the board:
- The ball should stay in the inbounds
- Ball serving is done at the baseline
- The game is played to eleven or fifteen
- The ball should bounce once on each side
- Don’t shoot the serve in the no-valley zone
There are of course other rules, but those can be learned on the court (you can even make friends with the previous players for extra help!).
Wondering if pickleball is simpler than tennis? See our guide on is pickleball easier than tennis to find out.
7. Improves Cognitive Function
Playing pickleball is not only great for physical health, but it also provides a cognitive workout for the brain. As players participate in the game, they must constantly plan their shots, anticipate their opponents’ movements, and coordinate with their partner.
Moreover, the mental effort required during pickleball can tire the brain, leading to improved sleep quality. A good night’s sleep, in turn, helps to boost cognitive functions even further. So, not only is pickleball a fun way to stay active and healthy, it’s also an excellent way to keep your mind sharp and reduce the risk of dementia as Jonathan Graff-Radford, M.D. notes.
8. Increases Balance To Reduce Falls
Regular pickleball play can have a significant impact on the body’s movement and flexibility. The sport requires players to use their entire bodies, which helps keep joints in good working order. Additionally, the coordination between hand and eye movements required for successful shots improves cognitive skills and reflexes.
These improved cognitive functions and coordination also positively affect body posture and balance. This reduction in the risk of falls is especially important for seniors, as falls can lead to serious injuries and decreased mobility.
The Bottom Line
As a low-impact and easy-to-learn sport, pickleball is quickly becoming a favorite among seniors. It offers physical benefits such as improved movement and flexibility, cognitive benefits like enhanced coordination and reflexes, and social benefits like increased socialization.
If you’re a senior looking for a fun and healthy activity, it’s time to consider picking up a pickleball paddle and hitting the court!
P.S.: Getting yourself a pickleball paddle can be a great start. View our guide on choosing a Pickleball paddle to explore how to find a suitable one.