Pickleball, a Great Cardio Workout

It’s important at any age to keep your health in tip-top shape. Along with eating right, getting enough sleep and keeping your stress low, another important element of wellbeing is physical exercise. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that adults get 150 minutes of moderate activity per week or 75 minutes of intense activity per week (http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/guidelines/adults.html)

Recommendations for adult weekly exercise

 

 

A great way to keep your body healthy is to play everyone’s favorite sport- pickleball!

 

Pickleball is the perfect combination of cardio and hand-eye coordination training. It’s flexible to anyone’s fitness abilities and can be as leisurely or fast-paced as you desire.

 

Want an intensified cardio workout? Play a singles match! Although a pickleball court is smaller than a tennis court, you’ll still get a challenging workout as you run sideline to sideline. If you’re looking for a more mild form of exercise, grab three friends and play doubles. With a partner, you only have to cover half the court!

 

You can also choose the pace of the game by adapting the delivery of the ball. Instead of playing with the goal to beat your partner, try to see how many hits you can get in a row. This changes the focus of the game to a cooperative challenge.

 

Pickleball doesn’t only tone your muscles- it also sharpens your mind!

 

Thanks to the design of the ball, a plastic whiffle ball, it’s difficult to predict where the ball will go. Watching the ball  requires focused attention to the game, which in turn keeps the mind alert and stimulated. The Institute for the Study of Aging reports that, “Remaining socially engaged, continuing life-long learning, and engaging in activities… stimulate the brain, build cognitive reserve, and promote cognitive vitality” (ISOA, 2005, p. 12).

 

Pickleball may have a funny name, but its’ health benefits are nothing to laugh at. With the possibility of improving both your body and your mind, pickleball is a game that anyone can play for a lifetime of fun and health.

There are health benefits for both children and adults playing pickleball

 

 

The 82 Year Old Beginner

Dwight McConnell the 82 year old beginner to pickleball

Dwight McConnell the 82 year old beginner to pickleball

A gentleman from Ely, Minnesota, sharing his thoughts on a purchase from us, wrote, “It works well for me… an 82 year old beginner.”
The phrase “82 year old beginner” ran through my head all day, and I began to wonder about the man behind those words. My curiosity piqued, I decided to delve further and explore the unique perspective of an octogenarian just starting out at the game.
Dwight McConnell, the writer of that inspiring quote, was happy to share his insights with me.  “Discovery is life and life is discovery,” he stated, eloquently expressing his belief that you are never too old to try new activities. 
McConnell hadn’t heard of pickleball until he was approached by a neighbor in early 2012, who invited him to join their local club. After she explained the game, he was skeptical that a man of his age and physical condition would be able to play such a vigorous sport.  McConnell had recently suffered a broken hip and wrist and had been diagnosed with type II diabetes, giving him additional reasons to take pause.
After some introspection, McConnell decided to give it a shot. That following Tuesday, he arrived at the club’s designated pickleball court: A gymnasium on the third floor of the town’s public library. He was greeted by a group of middle-aged folks, each sporting athletic apparel and brandishing pickleball paddles.
Fascinated with the pickleball equipment and the players, McConnell jumped into his first game. The newcomer learned quickly how to position himself within the court and manage movements to effectively navigate and return the ball. By the end of the game he was hooked. “Pickleball was such a great discovery,” he said, with passion in his voice. “The physical activity, the sense of community… I can’t say enough good things about it.”
Now, months later, McConnell has a few “bragging rights.” Pickleball has helped him maintain a twenty pound weight loss and therefore is no longer required to take medication to control his diabetes. He’s fit, feeling fabulous and has made many lifelong friends.
Dwight with some of his pickleball friends

Dwight with some of his pickleball friends