Pickleball is Hot!

Villages Pickleball is hot! No, not the temperature, but Club growth and participation. Our membership has grown by over 60% so far this year, with new members joining weekly. We’re now averaging 35 court reservations per week; there would be more if had more time slots available!

A recent article in AARP stated playing Pickleball, one of the fastest-growing sports in the U.S.,may ward off depression as well as improve fitness, according to two new studies on the game’s health benefits. Pickleball is described as a little like tennis and a bit like Ping-Pong, providing exercise, as well as social interaction.

A new Western State Colorado University study with middle aged and older adults found playing three times a week for one hour for six weeks, resulted in improved blood pressure and cardiorespiratory fitness. The researchers, who published in the International Journal of Research in Exercise Physiology, said the game’s “moderate exercise intensity,” combined with its “fun factor,” makes it ” an ideal alternative form of physical activity”. Personally, I find it the ideal primary physical activity!

A Japanese study published in the journal Leisure Studies in May found older adults playing Pickleball were associated with lower levels of depression. Advantages of Pickleball include aerobic exercise without a lot of risk of injury. Games usually last only 10 to 15 minutes of doubles play, as well as no serious running – making it easier on joints. With a lightweight paddle and a plastic ball, you’re less likely to have injuries such as tennis elbow.

The Villages is lucky to have Mike Walias available to provide instruction Wednesday and Friday for beginners at 1:00, followed by open drop-in play. Take advantage of this time to stop by and try out Pickleball! Are you looking for people to play with? Visit the Pickleball Scheduler (villagespickleball.org) to see available time slots! There is open play scheduled Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 10:30 AM as well as the Wednesday / Friday time slots.

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