Pickleball – A Great Exercise for Seniors
Do you miss team sports, but find that age-related problems like arthritis, injuries, or loss of strength are stopping you from getting involved in the local tennis or basketball scene? Are you looking for an exercise that is fun, social, and not too hard on your body?
Pickleball might just be the answer you’ve been looking for.
Pickleball is supposedly America’s fastest growing sport – doubling in player numbers from 2013 through 2015 and still gaining rapidly. Once you find out what it is, it’s easy to see the attraction: it’s a racquet sport like tennis, but with the strength component removed. Instead, players hit a soft waffle ball with paddles on a small court, and the key to success is having fast reflexes rather than powerful arms. Some players compare it to tossing a water balloon: you have to be gentle – and accurate.
It’s competitive, and there’s enough moving and sweating to offer a strong cardio component, but because the ball must be hit softly and kept in a small, low area of the court, it’s something almost anybody can get good at, even if they’re very young, very old, or suffer from joint problems or injuries. Also, pickleball can be played year-round, indoors or outdoors, and can be adapted to work on most tennis courts.
Of course, like any paddle or racquet sport, pickleball can still lead to injuries. The most common pickleball injury is a broken wrist, caused by falling on one’s hands after losing one’s balance during play. Nevertheless, pickleball is still considered much more low-impact than other, similar sports, like tennis and racquetball.
The game’s appeal to seniors, who are often looking for a low-impact way to exercise, has really helped its popularity, with pickleball courts popping up all over the country, especially in the Sun Belt: California, Arizona, Florida, and Texas.
People looking for Miami pickleball should check out the South Florida Pickleball Meetup, which currently has about 110 members who meet up to play. According to them, there are 15 locations in Miami-Dade and Broward county alone where pickleball can be played.