Pickleball, an easy-to-learn sport that is growing in popularity, is bringing generations together and keeping older adults healthy. The game is similar to tennis, but played on a smaller court with a plastic ball and an oversized ping pong paddle. The basics are easy enough for anyone to be able to pick up a paddle and join a casual game, but it can get very competitive for more advanced players.
While anyone can play, this sport may be particularly appealing to older adults. The physical movements involved are not as intense and put less strain on the body than in other sports, which means players would be less prone to injury while still getting a moderate amount of exercise. In a typical game, players’ heart rates increase to levels of moderately intense exercise and they burn more calories than walking. Even disabled or less active individuals can participate. Considering the health benefits of physical activity, pickleball should be worth a try for anyone interested in another way to stay active.
Another important aspect of the game is the social component. The casual nature of the game often leads to more socializing than in other sports, and regular players often develop bonds with one another. This means pickleball may be another way to help reduce isolation among older adults. There is even an intergenerational component of pickleball. The game was created with interaction among generations in mind, and this continues to be an important part of the game. Individuals of any age and any ability level have the opportunity to interact with one another.