A recent survey has found that pickleball helps boost seniors’ mental health, offering “adaptability and accessibility.” It also states that the sport provides “a sense of community and connection” among older adults.
Physical And Mental Benefits
Beyond its physical benefits, pickleball is helping to improve seniors’ mental health, according to a new survey by Carewell, a North Carolina-based company that supports caregivers. It carried out a study of 1,000 Americans concerning the effect pickleball has had on their psyche.
You can read all about Carewell’s research, methodology, and findings by following this link.
The report revealed that approximately 70% of older adults noticed a decrease in stress and anxiety while engaging in pickleball, with 64% finding the experience to be uplifting.
James Campigotto, a researcher for Carewell, highlighted the broader societal shift observed in attitudes toward aging, fitness, and family dynamics.
He told Fox Digital, “Overall, our study sheds light on a compelling shift in societal attitudes toward aging, fitness and family dynamics,”
“The data proves the multifaceted impact of this sport on the well-being of seniors.”
A Sense Of Community
Beyond the personal benefits, pickleball fosters a sense of community among seniors, with half valuing this camaraderie. Interestingly, one in three participants reported improved cognition and self-esteem.
The game also provides seniors with the opportunity to spend time with younger family members. This intergenerational aspect is notable, with 36% of younger players using the game to bond with older family members, according to a recent survey.
“This not only challenges today’s narratives about digital disconnection but also emphasizes the power of shared experiences in strengthening family bonds,” Campigotto added.
“Surge In Popularity”
Laura Gainor, pickleball marketing and lifestyle brand expert, highlighted the sport’s growth during the pandemic, attributing it to outdoor activities promoting recreation and social interaction.
She commented, “The surge in pickleball’s popularity underscores its status as a sport that not only provides physical and mental well-being but also fosters a sense of community and connection – a testament to its enduring appeal across generations.”
“The sport’s adaptability and accessibility have made it an appealing choice for people of all ages. Seniors are able to visit their local pickleball courts easily as an individual and jump in on recreational games to be healthy and active and build social relationships.”
Others, like fitness coach Kristina Centenari, recognize its approachability and social aspect, making it appealing to newcomers to fitness.
“And while it still requires some level of athleticism, pickleball is also usually played in doubles, which introduces a social element that many people who are new to fitness enjoy.”
However, the sport’s rising popularity also raises concerns about potential injuries. Gainor cautioned against using inappropriate footwear on the court.
“It is important for seniors to know that you should wear proper court shoes in order to have the support you need when making the side-to-side lateral movements on the courts.”
“A Dynamic Warm-Up”
Pickleball instructor Arnold Poblete highlighted the necessity of warming up and knowing one’s physical limitations before playing.
“Do a dynamic warm-up of some bodyweight movements to prime your body for physical activity. Also, know your limitations and cool down properly.”
Centenari stressed the importance of integrating strength training and mobility exercises into seniors’ workout routines:
“By training your major muscle groups and incorporating plyometrics for speed and conditioning, you’ll build your power, agility, and resilience, boosting your performance and confidence on the court,” she said.
“Strengthening your muscles, tendons, and joints through resistance training has been shown in multiple studies to reduce the risk of sports injuries for adults of all ages.”
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