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Uncovering the Hidden Benefits of Pickleball: Why It's More Than Just a Game

young couple playing pickleball

Pickleball is considered the fastest growing sport for many reasons. Aside from the game being extremely fun, there are many hidden benefits of pickleball. It has been shown to provide physical, mental, and rehabilitative benefits. Sometimes, playing pickleball can even help players develop life skills!

In this article, we examine all of the most significant benefits that regularly playing pickleball can offer players and offer some insight into how you can get started with playing pickleball and enjoy these benefits for yourself!

Pickleball is an incredible game. While it doesn’t have a long legacy, pickleball has become increasingly popular because it is accessible and fun to players of all skill levels. Many people enjoy that it provides a perfect intermediary between games like ping pong and tennis.

While pickleball isn’t as physically intensive as tennis, it provides many health benefits to players. People who regularly play tennis can potentially enjoy benefits like improved coordination, increased fitness and overall well-being, and even a reduced risk of chronic disease.

Physical Benefits

Pickleball is a form of aerobic exercise and can offer participants a huge swath of health benefits. Those who regularly play pickleball generally enjoy significant improvements in fitness. Their upper body muscles will be strengthened by swinging to hit the ball, while their lower body muscles will be strengthened by their rapid movement around the pickleball court.

The game also comes with tons of benefits for cardiorespiratory fitness. As a result of the constant movement required in a pickleball game, players need to breathe quickly and keep their heart rate up to get the right amount of oxygen to their cells. This gradually strengthens the heart and lungs over time, which may affect blood pressure, help prevent heart attack and heart disease, and improve cardiovascular health in general.

Pickleball can even help with managing a healthy weight. The sport's intensity means it can burn as much as 500 calories per hour in particularly challenging games. Even in a recreational pickleball game, players can expect to burn hundreds of calories and help their body keep a caloric deficit or maintenance.

Mental Benefits

Pickleball can also have positive effects on mental health. This is for a few reasons: namely that pickleball is a social sport, helps improve cognition, and can be a rewarding activity. Playing pickleball regularly can help improve mental well-being in almost every aspect.

The benefits of the social component of pickleball can’t be understated. Because it is such a social sport, pickleball can often help foster a sense of community among players. Many people develop meaningful friendships in the process of playing pickleball.

Winning pickleball games and developing new skills can often feel rewarding and help improve mood, while the goal-oriented and social parts of the game can help reduce stress. The game can improve cognitive and brain function in adults because it develops skills like reaction time and spatial awareness.

pickleball ball in court

Rehabilitation Benefits

People who need rehabilitation from injuries or conditions often enjoy playing pickleball for rehabilitative purposes. It makes a great pick because it engages the body and mind almost as much as tennis while being a low impact sport.

Because this racquet sport has a much lower impact than similar games, it is an excellent option to stay physically active without putting your body at risk of strain or injury. People with joint pain often find that the game helps improve their fitness without hurting their joints

Pickleball can also help improve balance and coordination. Having the bodily awareness to prevent yourself from falling and getting hurt is important as you age, but it can be challenging to develop. Pickleball is one of the best sports for improving mobility.

Life Skills Benefits

One little-known benefit of pickleball is that it can help players develop life skills. Many players benefit from the teamwork that the game requires because they learn to communicate more effectively with friends and peers.

Pickleball players are also required to learn self-discipline to succeed at the sport. Being present and ready for every game is essential, and those who consistently show up for games find it rewarding because it shows that their contributions genuinely matter.

Finally, the goal-setting components of pickleball are very beneficial for players. If people want to become genuinely successful at pickleball, they need to work hard to become good at the game -- and this can’t be done overnight.

The best pickleball players consistently play games and practice to improve their skills. They identify strategies and techniques that they’re weak at and work to better them. In the process, they develop learning skills that can be applied in almost every other area of life.


Pickleball is an incredibly fun game, but the enjoyment you feel from playing it isn’t the only benefit it offers. The physical health, mental health, rehabilitative, and life skills benefits of pickleball make it one of the best activities you can incorporate into your lifestyle.

old man plying pickleball

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Calories Does Playing Pickleball Burn?

The calories you can burn while playing pickleball depend on how much you move. Studies suggest you can burn an average of 8 to 10 calories every minute you play pickleball.

Is Pickleball Safe for Seniors?

Pickleball is safe for seniors to play to meet their fitness goals. It is an excellent sport for seniors because it allows them to get regular exercise and have fun without putting a significant strain on their bodies. The improved coordination and fitness associated with regularly playing pickleball benefit seniors.

Can Children Play Pickleball?

Pickleball is a fantastic sport for children to play. One great aspect is that soft plastic pickleball balls are used for the game, so the balls are lightweight enough for children to hit with little risk of injury. Pickleball is very fun for children and helps them develop vital motor skills and learn that regular exercise can be fun.

Pickleball Superstore
Pickleball Superstore