Sure, pickleball is FUN (obviously!) but according to a recent article published in Recreation Management, it’s an ideal sport for middle-aged adults.
The research involved recruiting 15 middle-aged to older men and women (40 to 85 years of age). To quantify the acute cardiovascular and metabolic responses to pickleball, participants wore a portable calorimetric measurement system and a heart-rate monitor. The participants played four 15-minute matches (60 minutes of physical activity) three days each week.
AVAC® has 5 permanent pickleball courts, as well as 4 blended line courts available for play. Members play FREE!
Prior to the start of the study, all participants performed a graded exercise test on a treadmill to determine maximal heart rate (MHR) and maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max). The following measurements were recorded at baseline: resting heart rate, body composition, fasting blood lipids, fasting blood glucose, waist circumference and weight. Those same measurements were obtained again after the six-week program in order to determine the effectiveness of pickleball at positively modifying cardiometabolic risk factors.
For example, the chronic cardiovascular and metabolic responses to pickleball showed that after six weeks, “participants saw favorable changes in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and VO2max. Together, these equate to a positive effect on cardiometabolic health.”
Overall, the study’s primary finding is that regular participation in pickleball elicits cardiovascular and metabolic responses that meet exercise intensity guidelines for improving and maintaining cardiorespiratory fitness—with the average caloric expenditure equaling about 350 calories per 60 minutes of participation. Collectively, the findings support pickleball as an ideal form of physical activity for middle-aged and older adults.
Visit www.avac.us/Pickleball for more information on this exciting, healthy sport!