A small group of older adults met their recommended weekly quota of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity by playing pickleball, according to the results of a pilot study.
The researchers wanted to know if older people who played pickleball were doing enough moderate-to-high-intensity exercise to achieve the levels needed for cardiovascular health.
This pilot study provides objective data supporting pickle ball participation as an activity that helps promote physical activity in older individuals and helps them meet CDC recommendations.
Tracked the physical activity of 33 individuals who were 65 years of age or older and played pickleball at least twice a week. Their steps were tracked as well as physical activity intensity for 2 weeks using Fitbits.
On average, 3,477 more steps were taken during the days playing stickball, and more time was also spent in “fairly active” and “very active” physical activity.
On average, more than 68 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity was achieved playing pickleball during each session. An average of 86.77 minutes in 3 elevated heart rate zones was also achieved during the average pickle ball.
There are 3 necessary factors for healthy aging. Number 1 is physical health, and not just staying physically active, but participating in physical activity that gets your heart rate up, otherwise known as moderate to vigorous physical activity. There are also benefits from creating and maintaining social connections, as well as psychological health that comes from life satisfaction and a sense of well-being.
When it comes to physical activity, the CDC recommends 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity per week for older adults. Pickleball participation was the reason most individuals met the physical activity recommendations in this study.
The researchers isolated their pickle ball activity as opposed to daily activity, and the main finding was that pickle ball was the only reason most individuals met CDC recommendations. Participating in pickleball helped them reach that goal.
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