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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Health Benefits from Pickleball

Pickleball really is good for you...even if your spouse thinks you just want to be alone...

A poster of the Pickleball Forum was looking for testimonials from players with regard to their health benefits they have seen from pickleball. As I have mentioned in the past, I look for information such as this for ammunition in the development of pickleball. His post follows and the replies follow that.

Hello, I am looking for some testimonials from people who have experienced a big positive change towards their health and wellness since taking on Pickleball, I am intending to use this information to write an article to gain more interest and to present to local councils and GP surgeries. If you rather would like to email them then just send me a PM or just post on this tread. Thank you all!!

- Age 70. I suffered from painful Trigeminal Neuralgia from Jan 2017 until surgery on Sep 1, 2017. During that 8 month period I had debilitating facial pain approximately 75% of the time when I was NOT playing Pickleball. However, I had NO PAIN while playing Pickleball. I mentioned this to my Neurologist and to my Neurosurgeon and both commented that moderate exercise alleviates the pain. I played a lot of Pickleball (approx. 20 to 25 hrs/week) during this period and found much comfort from the pain relief. BTW, surgery went fine and I am now pain free and expect to return to playing PB again within a few weeks.

- Female. Age 66. 3 yrs ago had back injury. Three injections into lower back, 3rd was charm. Started pickleball. Bending, reaching helped to strengthen other muscles. Now doing better than the last 10 yrs.

- Playing pickleball for 6 months at a 3:5-4 level won 4 medals in the past 2 months including 2 gold. Lost 12 pounds, reduce 2 inches on waist. Reduce my insulin from 40 units to 15 units daily , a1c from 8:5 to 7:5. Play about 8 hours weekly. Not much change in eating habits just only eating smart, occasionally 1-2 soda per week. I am happy and healthy and hoping to get off my insulin in 6 months.

- Age 74. I have been playing for the last 4 years. When I retired in 2008 I had bad pains in my knees and back. Probably aches and pains due to the fact I was sedentary. I play 3-4 times a week and my knees and back are better than ever. I asked my doctor why I have no more pain and his answer was the oxygen in the blood is getting into the joints now. I am not on any medication and my weight is kept in check.

- Almost 70. Two knee replacements....won a 3.0 division three months after my second a 3.5. Mobility is totally due to Pickleball!

- I began playing PB 2 yrs ago after 20 years off from playing tennis. I was very overweight and tennis was a challenge, PB was less daunting. After a year and a half of playing every morning for two hours I'm proud to say I've lost 110 pounds. I owe my brand new start to PB, I still play everyday and am a big tournament player. I'm now in the best shape of my life!

- I've been playing pickleball for one year. At the time I began playing, I had been eating healthier and riding my bike and had already lost 30 pounds (of the 120 I wanted to lose.) I thought pickleball would be a good exercise to help lose more weight and get fit. Now I have lost 75 pounds and my goal is even more important because I want to play better pickleball. Some days, I play both in the morning and in the evening, not for the exercise, just for fun.

- Started playing pickleball for one year. I play around 3-4 times a week. Lost 10 pounds. Wish I could play more often!!

- I tried PB six years ago at age 62 I loved it so much that I lost sixty pounds and replaced both knees, so I could play. Six years later I have kept the weight off and play almost every day. Six years ago I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and was taking multiple yucky prescriptions. Today I play pickle ball instead. Life changing activity for me. Not to mention the great friends I've made, all because of pickle ball

- I think there is also a positive mental health aspect to Pickleball. I feel better physically & mentally after spending two hours in the morning outside being active and playing Pickleball, it definitely elevates my mood. Plus being relatively new to the sport I know my brain is engaged in learning this new activity and then there is the social aspect that is also positive to my well being. I've also lost about 10 pounds since starting, but some of that is due to the fact I'm training to run a marathon too.

- Age 49. When I started playing I was already fairly active playing softball, skiing and swimming. I had had an acl replacement and meniscus repair 2 years prior. I had been through physical therapy and worked hard to strengthen the muscles around my knee but still felt like the knee was only 85% recovered. When I started playing pickleball I was immediately addicted and started playing 5 days a week. Within 3 months of starting pickleball my knee was back to 100% and within a year I had lost 50 pounds. 4 years later the knee is as good as ever and no other injuries.

- I started playing 3-4 times per week after the holidays in early 2016. I went from 201 lbs down to a steady 180 today, with no other significant diet or life style changes. Only side effect is I suffer from Pickleball withdrawal if I have to go 3 days or more without playing!

- I've played 7 years. Moved to Sonoma County California 6 years ago to be close to my son and family. Knew 4 people. As the sport has grown, I now know and enjoy over 100 friends. A true emotionally strengthening tool as I ease into retirement.

- I started playing Pickleball 4 years ago. Before that I was diagnosed with Osteopenia, my last bone density test showed my bone density back to normal! Love this game, play 5X/week on average! Yup totally addicted! Haven't lost any weight....could be the beer after play?! 

- Just got my blood test results from my annual physical. Before pickleball, was borderline high. Now my readings were in the optimal range. For a five year old! (Kids have the lowest cholesterol, so this was just kind of ridiculously low). Not bad for 57. Thank you pickleball. 

- Bone scan at 60 showed Osteopenia. Bone scan last year showed no evidence. Dr contributes to active Pickleball lifestyle

- I started playing at 56. I was battling with depression and high blood pressure. As long as I could play 3 times per week.. no depression. Been playing 4 1/2 years now. And at 60 learning to be competitive for first time ever. But more than that, my 22 yr old daughter started playing with me and I have watched her blossom with confidence I never saw in her. She battled with anxiety before PB and has overcome that. The game has helped us get to know each other on an equal playing field. Just a pure delight to share the court with her!!

- I have been playing since May. I started Weight Watchers in January. I have lost 40 pounds since and mostly from pickleball though. I am not as stressed either.

- I lost 30 pounds

- I suffered from severe depression for 10 plus years, sometimes couldn't even make it out of bed...within a week of playing anxiety depression completely gone...I started going back to school and I enjoy life so much!!!!!

- Pickled pink - clever terminology. My knees have also strengthened. Wore knee braces first year. Now, after 7 years, they are fine - no braces.

- I had my physical check-up August 2016 with not so good results. Started playing pickleball 4-5 times a week. Just had my physical check-up this year, and my results are outstanding! My improvement is all due to finally having a physical activity in my life. My diet was always good, no change in diet. Never had a weight problem, but it was clear that I was lacking some physical activity. With long hours of work I always found an excuse not to exercise. Pickleball is so much fun that I can’t wait to get to the courts. Love my new life !

- Introduced to pickleball, was falling down all the time due to prior nerve damage and that caused balance issues and after my fusion while recovering  (no pickleball) I then fell again (on steps) and ruptured my hamstring, I was told I needed surgery if I wanted to walk much, I refused surgery and decided to carefully take lessons for learning balanced position in pickleball before hit a ball. Got a second opinion 5 months later on my MRI, I was told that I was not trained on correctly doing my strength and balance routine, but the professional opinion was I did not need surgery, and based on my recovery I was doing very good.  My health status without pickleball, could have been much different. I could have been paralyzed from the neck down


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