Pickleball – Promoting Fitness & Fun for Seniors
Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in America and, judging by the fliers popping up around town, seems to be taking St. Louis by storm. So, just what in the world is it?
Pickleball is a paddle sport for all ages and skill levels that features the dimension and layout of a badminton court, and net and rules similar to tennis.
Although it can be competitive, pickleball is often enjoyed (especially for seniors) as a way to stay socially and physically active in the community. (Check out the short video below highlighting pickleball players of all ages enjoying the sport.)
Typically, pickleball is played to 11 points, and the winner must win by two points. Points are scored by the service side when the opponent faults, such as failing to return the ball, hitting the ball out of bounds or volleying in the seven-foot no-volley zone on each side of the net.
Some locations offer instructional times (and equipment rental) for players who are new to the game. For further rules and details of the game visit the official pickleball website.
St. Louis has more than 20 recreation and community centers offering pickleball for players of all abilities. For a comprehensive list of St. Louis area locations, visit the “Places to Play” section of the St. Louis Pickleball website or click here for the USA Pickleball Association’s listing to find a court near you.
Pickleball is a great activity for seniors because it is not only fun, but also great exercise.
Like any sport, care must be taken to avoid over-exertion and injury. These tips can help seniors remain healthy and enjoy their pickleball experience:
- Wear comfortable shoes that support your feet and are designed for court sports.
- Never play on a wet court and always clear the area of obstacles or tripping hazards.
- Warm up and stretch before playing to increase your performance and decrease risk of injury.
- Age, experience, physical condition and athletic ability impact the level of your game. Don’t try to make plays beyond your abilities.
- Know your exercise limits and share them with other players.
- Check with your doctor regarding exercise and any conditions to be mindful of.
At SHC, our caregivers help clients remain active and social. If you know someone who might benefit from the help of an SHC caregiver, please contact us. We’re here to help!
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