Keeping fit is vital for all ages, but it’s especially important for the older generation. Finding a way to remain active as you age can be difficult as you start to see that the limits of your body are hampering your ability. It’s likely that, as you age, you may have to stop playing the sports you love and find new alternatives.
Although it has gradually increased over the past few years, the average age of the top 100 male and female tennis players is 28 and 26 years old, respectively. While this does mean your chance of making it professionally might be slim it doesn’t mean tennis isn’t for anyone over those ages. Recreational tennis is a great sport for all ages, however, it does still put a physical demand on the body, meaning some players may need to find an alternative. But fear not, Pickleball is here to fill the void might be left in your life once you have to stop playing tennis.
Pickleball shares a lot of similarity with various racquet sports, including tennis, badminton, and ping pong, and is played at a slightly slower pace. We explore why Pickleball might be the perfect sport to help the older generation stay active.
Like tennis, Pickleball is a great full-body workout, and also has several mental benefits. We’ve previously outlined the physical benefits of playing tennis, which will provide a more detailed overview of the physical benefits of playing racquet sports. As Pickleball is so similar to tennis, it provides the same physical benefits. Some of the main advantages of playing Pickleball include:
Although it’s considered low impact, you are continually moving around and getting your blood pumping and heart racing. This all helps to boost the health of your cardiovascular system.
Improved muscular strength
Pickleball is a weight-bearing activity, and as you are running around the court, you will soon start to build up strength in various muscles. This is especially important as we begin to age as it’s very easy to start to lose muscle mass later in life.
Put simply, exercise burns calories, which in turn helps to maintain weight goals, and a healthy weight is linked with multiple health benefits. Playing Pickleball regularly helps you to burn calories.
Decreased risk of various diseases such as strokes and cancers
Linking to the previous point, more exercise means more calories burnt, which helps maintain weight and reduce the risk of any subsequent diseases. This is vital in the older population who are more susceptible to a number of health issues.
Boost mental function and health
Exercise is a great way to burn off stress and get your brain working. On top of being a great physical workout, Pickleball will also test you mentally due to the strategy required, as well as quick reflexes.
Another benefit of playing Pickleball is the fact that the matches are relatively short. Not only is this great as it means you can squeeze in a quick game or two in your busy schedule, but there is also less stress on the body. Tennis matches can last for hours, putting your body through immense strain and pressure. Pickleball is much lower impact and, therefore, lower risk of injury, making it a perfect choice for the older generation.
To maintain a reasonable level of health and fitness, it’s believed that 150 minutes of moderate activity is required a week. Doubles Pickleball is considered a moderate activity, therefore, a few matches throughout the week added to everyday activity such as walking, and you’ll hit this target easily.
Be sure to keep your eyes peeled on the Tennisletics blog for more information and advice on pickleball and tennis.