Get Your Pickle On: Benefits of Playing Pickleball

Feb. 29, 2024

Pickleball may be one of the fastest growing sports in the country. It is easy to see why. Plus, it can get you outside to appreciate our beautiful state.

Here are a few benefits of picking up the sport*. 

Quick To Learn

Pickleball is a simple sport* that can get people of any age to move. The American Heart Association recommends* 150 minutes of heart-pumping physical activity per week for adults. 

“It is easy to learn, and anybody from 10 years old to 90 years old can play,” says Carlos Anrrich, the USA Pickleball Association ambassador for Columbia, South Carolina. Anrrich has been playing the sport since 2014. Today he teaches lessons around the city, including at the YMCA of Columbia*. 

You can pick up the basics of pickleball quickly, he says. He recommends learning the rules* before getting on the court. Introductory lessons can run about two to three hours. 

There are plenty of places to find pickleball lessons across the state. You can find one near you* online. 

Play With a Friend

Another benefit of the sport is its social nature. It is often played as a doubles sport, with two teams of two. Plenty of studies note the mental and health benefits of social interactions and playing team sports. It improves* teamwork, reduces stress and increases self-esteem. Catch up with a friend or make a new one on the court. 

Pickleball is an easy enough sport that children can play, too.

Enjoy the Fun 

People may put off exercise because it isn’t fun. But people who play pickleball proclaim the sport is “easy to start but hard to quit.” Research supports the need for “play” in adulthood. Play helps with managing stress* and improves overall well-being*. Plus, if you’re having fun, you’re more likely to continue and make time for the activity. 

Easy To Play

Pickleball is less strenuous unlike other sports. The court is small, so it is easy to keep the ball in play. It also means less movement* than a sport like tennis. Often, that also means less running and wear and tear on knees, hips and ankles. 

“It promotes exercise for a lot of people that are not doing a lot of exercise. And it’s not very stressful,” Anrrich says. 

The softer ball also allows for people with slower reflexes to play. The racket is also a low intensity piece of equipment that can reduce stress on tendons and muscles in your arm. It is less taxing on your arms. 

Other benefits include the following: 

  • Helps with hand-eye coordination 
  • Burns calories
  • Boosts heart health 
  • Promote memory
  • Increase sun exposure
  • Lowers loneliness
  • Improves balance

Get Moving 

Think you want to play? Anrrich says to stop by a local pickleball court and find people playing. Find a pickleball place near you*. 

“I would recommend going to a place with open play and tell people there you are new to the game and you want to learn. There are usually a few people that will help you out. People who play pickleball are welcoming,” he says. 

Get your pickle on! 

*These links lead to third-party sites. Those organizations are responsible for the contents and privacy policies on their sites. 

three women holding pickle ball paddles outside at court Hover image

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