We often talk about the benefits of exercise for aging adults: improved strength, balance, energy, mental health, and a decreased risk of common diseases like heart disease and diabetes. Across our campus, you’ll find residents using state-of-the-art fitness facilities, exercise classes, and walking trails. If you’re looking to switch up your workout routine or try something new, one of the latest additions to our campus might be what you are looking for: pickleball.
Our new Breton Woods Park features three pickleball courts, a putting green, a butterfly garden, and a walking path. Whether you’ve already caught the pickleball bug or are eager to try it out, head on over and see the craze for yourself.
What is pickleball?
Described as a mix of racquetball, ping pong, and tennis, pickleball has been rapidly growing in popularity across the country. In 2020, there were an estimated 4.2 million active players, a 21% increase from 2019. The rules are simple, the court is smaller, and the game is social. It also has a lower impact on muscles, joints, and tendons, making it a great option for aging adults looking to stay active and enjoy some friendly competition.
What are the benefits of pickleball?
Racket sports provide a great cardiovascular workout, and pickleball has a few unique qualities that make it even better: the small court means less running (better on joints), the softer ball is easier to keep in play (longer reps), the lighter racket and underhand serve (less strain on the arm and shoulder). It is also great for hand-eye coordination and balance, which can help prevent falls and other injuries. As with all aerobic exercise, the endorphins released during a pickleball game act as a mood booster, helping increase self-esteem and decrease depression.
Why is it so social?
Where many exercises such as swimming laps, walking on the treadmill, and lifting weights are seen as more solitary activities, pickleball is all about interacting with others. The game is usually played in pairs (2 v. 2) and centers around teamwork, which helps keep communication and leadership skills strong. Add that to the bonding that happens when you meet others with common interests, and you have a sport that is great for the mind and the body.
Consistency is Key
The hardest part about being active is consistency. A sport like pickleball provides a great workout while not always feeling like one, making it the perfect activity to add to your routine. We’re excited to bring the game to campus and looking forward to seeing our residents out there on the courts!