Pickleball Is Growing among Athletes over 50: It’s Fun, Simple and A Good Workout

Pickleball might have a goofy name. But it might be the fastest-growing sport in North America, and it has particular appeal to people over 50.

It’s a lot like tennis, but on a smaller court, with smaller rackets and a plastic whiffle ball.

One survey says more than 3 million people in the U.S. were playing in 2017, and the number has been growing by 10 percent a year for a decade.

According to an April 2019 article in The Globe and Mail, in Canada, it has been estimated there are 75,000 pickleball players, 16,600 of which are registered with Pickleball Canada. Alberta has the highest number of registered pickleballers in the country with 4,000 from 23 affiliated clubs.​

The National Senior Games had a packed competition this year in Albuquerque. Competitive “pickler” Dick Johnson of Idaho said the game was a nice transition after playing tennis for so many years. He enjoys playing with his wife, children and grandchildren.

“I love the personal challenge playing pickleball gives me,” he said. “It keeps me motivated and helps me improve my skills.”

And older people are drawn to it because it’s more manageable than, say, tennis or other games played on a bigger surface. But it still gives a good workout without a high risk of injury. And it provides a social outlet.

Plus, pickleball is easy to learn. And there are plenty of places to play. If you’re in Saskatoon, you can find one close to you at Saskatoon Pickleball Inc. 

​ If you live elsewhere, check out Places 2 Play ​.   

The biggest draw for many older people is this: Pickleball is fun. And that’s nothing to make light of, goofy name or not.

Just a fifth of adults get even the minimum amount of physical activity a week. And it’s been proven countless times that people stick with physical activity if it’s enjoyable. 

Pickleball is a great addition to add variety to your exercise plan. One or two days of pickleball plus two to three functional training sessions at the gym would have you well on your way to getting the recommended 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity each week.

If you’d like to find out how we can help up your pickleball game and make other activities easier, too, call or email for a complimentary consultation. 

Have-Your-Chocolate Pudding

As you work towards your fitness goals, finding desserts that are low in natural sugars will facilitate your results. It will take some time for your taste buds to adjust from enjoying intense, refined sugars to appreciating the subtly and delight of natural, wholesome sugar found in fruit. This pudding is a spectacular way to enjoy creamy chocolate while avoiding refined sugars entirely. The avocado, banana and dates provide real, usable nutrients and vitamins while pleasing your sweet tooth.

What you need
Serves 4

  • 1 avocado, pitted and peeled
  • 1 banana, peeled
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 dates, pitted
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor. Blend until creamy and smooth. Place in serving bowls and chill four 10 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition
228 calories, 17g fat, 16g carbohydrate, 26mg sodium, 7g sugar, 7g fibre, and 4g protein.