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7 Proven Health Benefits of Playing Pickleball


For many athletes and gymgoers, proper motivation is what gets them to keep up their training schedule. The same goes for pickleball players of all ages.

While you need to stay driven to play pickleball regularly, there’s no denying it can be quite a challenge, especially with the hectic lifestyle that most of us lead nowadays. Reminding yourself of all the top benefits you get from playing pickleball is a great way to stay motivated and in the game.

If you need a reminder that the effort is worth it—whether you’re a young’un with too much energy to burn or an elderly looking to connect with like-minded individuals—we’ve compiled a list of all the proven health benefits of playing pickleball. Let’s get started!

1. Pickleball Burns a Lot of Calories

health benefits of playing pickleball for calories

This is probably the first thing that comes to mind when you think about the health benefits of any sport or activity. Well, pickleball is no different in that it can help you lose weight since it’s a form of exercise.

According to the USA Pickleball Association or USAPA, a 150-pound individual can burn around 250 calories if they play pickleball casually for 30 minutes. A person weighing 200 pounds can burn about 335 calories in that same amount of time.

If you play aggressively for 30 minutes, that potential increases to around 360 calories burned for a person who weighs 150 pounds, and about 475 calories burned for a person who weighs 200 pounds.

According to the American Council of Exercise, this is more or less the same result you can get from a 30-minute run. Clearly, pickleball participation has a lot to offer when it comes to losing pounds and maintaining a healthy body weight.

2. Regular Pickleball Puts You at a Lower Risk of Injuries

Decrease your risk of injury

Engaging in regular moderate exercise such as pickleball reduces your risk of sustaining various injuries. This is because you’re keeping your muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones active.

As a result of the constant activity, your body becomes used to the movement, and you prevent your muscles and joints from going stiff. Since you’ve built up good endurance, there’s a lower risk of your body experiencing pain and overuse when you move around.

Compared to tennis or jogging, pickleball puts less strain on your joints and muscles. This is because the court is small, so you do not have to constantly keep sprinting and jumping from one end of the court to the other just to keep the ball in play. In pickleball, the ball also moves slower compared to a tennis ball in play.

All these factors reduce the pressure on your knees and hips, and make pickleball an easier, more appropriate sport to play for the aged and physically impaired.

3. Pickleball Improves Flexibility and Balance

health benefits of playing pickleball improves flexibility

Pickleball can help enhance your body’s flexibility because you need to constantly move different body parts during a game. The constant movement not only enhances flexibility, but also maintains the vitality of your joints by preventing or delaying the onset of arthritis and other joint and bone problems.

Additionally, playing pickleball can be an effective way to improve balance. Regular exercising of the legs keeps them strong and supports healthy blood flow through their blood vessels.

4. Regular Pickleball Lifts up the Mood

health benefits of playing pickleball for good mood
Get that serotonin flowing

If you’re yet to experience the “feel good” state that one usually gets after a workout, you should get moving right away! Engaging in any sort of exercise regularly can do wonders for your physical health. And did you know it can also have many positive effects on your mental state?

That’s right, pickleball playing on the regular can lift up your mood, boost your confidence, and help you feel generally better about life and yourself. 

This is one of the results of engaging in aerobic exercises. It triggers your body to release endorphins and serotonin, which are chemicals that elevate a person’s mood for a short time. You can say it’s a “workout high”.

The more regular you are with pickleball and other sports/workouts, the less temporary such good feelings will become. Soon enough, you’ll turn into a generally happier and more productive person!

5. Pickleball Offers Positive Cardiovascular Effects

Pump it up!

Another physical health benefit of engaging in pickleball regularly is you get to boost your cardiovascular health. Basically, playing the game will get your heart pumping, making it a great cardiovascular exercise to strengthen your heart muscles.

Since moderate activity is involved in pickleball, it can significantly improve and support the work of your cardiovascular system. This is similar to playing badminton, except on a smaller court.

Because it can help strengthen the heart, pickleball is a particularly good sport for older people to engage in. It can lower their risk of heart disease, strokes, and heart attacks.

6. Playing Pickleball Can Help You Sleep Better

health benefits of playing pickleball for sleeping better

If you often have trouble falling asleep, or find it difficult to have a restful sleep at night, try playing pickleball outdoors. 

Proper exposure to natural light during the day and minimizing artificial light in the evening helps maintain a healthy sleep-wake cycle that promotes restful sleep. Basically, the presence of natural light tells your body it’s time to wake up, while the absence of it tells your body it’s time to sleep. Sunlight also helps in the production of sleep-promoting hormones like melatonin and serotonin. 

Doing a moderate exercise like pickleball everyday can help reduce your dependence on sleeping aids and medications, which contributes to better sleep.

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TIP: Avoid working out within two hours before bedtime. Exercise will get your blood pumping, and it will release endorphins into your blood. This will make you alert rather than sleepy.

7. Pickleball Can Help Manage Diabetes

Help Control Your Diabetes

Exercise provides numerous benefits for individuals with diabetes. It helps control weight, lowers blood pressure, improves cholesterol levels, strengthens muscles and bones, reduces anxiety, and improves your overall well-being. 

Specifically for the management of diabetes, exercise lowers blood glucose levels, increases insulin sensitivity, and reduces the risk of heart disease and other complications associated with diabetes. 

To get optimal results, you should aim for a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week. You can easily achieve this by playing pickleball for around 20 to 25 minutes every day.

The Benefits of Playing Pickleball

Regular physical exercise is good for the body, and playing pickleball is no different. As the fastest growing sport in America, there are several physical and mental health benefits of playing pickleball regularly. As a form of exercise, pickleball is effective at helping you burn calories, aiding you in your weight loss goals, and improving your quality of sleep.