The Benefits of Pickleball for Seniors

Healthy aging requires a healthy lifestyle which includes exercise!  exercise to some may seem challenging or even boring as some people do not appreciate just working out for the sake of Health.  However, finding joy in your exercise routine is a way to build authentic motivation as well as increase your mental health.

Physical exercise is a key aspect of both physical and mental wellness and so it is important to build a daily routine that includes some movement and exercise.  Due to your own body circumstances and preferences, you will have your own ideas regarding what exercise looks to you. All movements with your body, whether it is mobility work for your hands, gentle stretching, or active sports, are great ways to keep your body strong and flexible.

One of the hardest things about exercise is finding exercise that is both accessible to you and doing it regularly. Connecting with your primary care physician and discussing exercise options for you is a great way of building accessibility in your exercise goal setting.

When you have a good idea as to what movement is accessible for you then the next hurdle is trying to find an activity that you can do regularly.  While home workouts such as yoga, Pilates, or bodyweight exercises may be the most convenient for your schedule, some people do not find it the most fun.  Finding the fun and joy in your exercise is a key way of encouraging you to continue doing it.  Here’s where group activities come in!

Sports and group exercise are better motivators for consistency and it is often a lot more fun. Sports especially are great exercise for your cardiovascular health and can really get the blood pumping!  And pickleball is an awesome example of that.

Pickleball is a racket sport similar to tennis and squash and players often say that it is one of the most fun sports for seniors. Pickleball was invented in Seattle in 1965 and is played on a smaller court which makes it easier to keep the ball in play. Each game is played in an 11 point round and due to the small court size, you can score most points without too much movement which is helpful when not wanting to become overexerted. The small court allows for less running and wear and tear on your joints such as knees, hips, and ankles.

For seniors who have joint issues but still love playing sports, pickleball is a great alternative for a joint accessible sport.  The ball used in pickleball is small, soft, and light which means that even if you were hit with the ball, you would not get an injury and this is valuable because often as we get older, we are more prone to bruising and injury when being struck by an item.

Community sports are an excellent source of social interaction. It can be challenging to make friends and socialize as adults, even more so due to COVID restrictions and quarantine, and any opportunity to build relationships is valuable to our mental health.

Pickleball is an excellent opportunity to see friends and family regularly and joining a pickleball community group can introduce you to many more friends. Socializing as a senior can boost mental health and decrease isolation and depression.

Pickleball is a sport that is easy to learn and is often available at many local community centers. Learning pickleball can be an excellent way for you to engage in your local community and build new friendships. It is also a great way of connecting with old friends by scheduling a weekly game. Exercise should be a joyful experience and finding the right exercise routine can bring happiness to your life.

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