As a Pickleball enthusiast, you may wonder, how often should I play Pickleball? As the famous saying goes, every sport has its injuries. It also has benefits, which you should consider when deciding how often you should play.
Experts recommend that you not play Pickleball more than four times a week, 1.5 – 2.5 hours at a time. However, when playing competitively, a certain level of fitness is required. Several factors play a role when deciding how much is sufficient for you, including your overall health.
Pickleball has a reputation as a senior sport however, through the years, it has developed into a versatile sport suitable for and played by all ages. Nowadays, Pickleball is a very interactive and social sport, and players of all ages can enjoy this game. Let’s consider some factors when deciding how often you should play.
How Often Should One Play Pickleball?
Your main goal with this game and what you wish to gain from playing will influence how often you should play.
Are you a beginner? Do you play socially or professionally? Do you have any injuries? It’s important to deliberate the following factors when deciding how often you should play.
How Often Should A Beginner Play Pickleball?
If you are not used to engaging in physical activity, it is best to seek professional medical advice before starting any sport. Depending on factors like your fitness level and age, you may need to start very slowly and in conjunction with strengthening or flexibility exercises.
If you are relatively fit but new to the sport, starting with two Pickleball sessions per week, 30 minutes each, is best. You can gradually increase to four times a week and longer sessions at a time as your fitness levels improve.
Remaining Injury Free As A Social Pickleball Player
Pickleball is not as strenuous on the joints as other similar sports like squash or tennis. However, injury is still a concern, especially for players over 50. So, how often should you play to remain injury free as a social player?
As with most exercises and sports, giving your body a rest day between workouts is crucial as it helps with recovery and injury prevention. Unlike training at the gym, where you can alternate between upper and lower-body movements, Pickleball is a full-body workout. Therefore, it is best to play every other day.
If you wish to stay injury free, aim to play three times a week or four at most. Keeping playtime to an hour maximum is advisable, and luckily Pickleball sessions are quick, so you can easily play four rounds in one hour.
In addition to playing no more than four times a week, a few other things will help prevent injuries, like doing a proper warm-up before each session, staying hydrated, and wearing shoes with good grip and adequate ankle support.
How Often Can Pro Players Play Pickleball?
You started playing Pickleball, and the fun and games became more severe as the addiction grew, and you have now decided to play more competitively.
Of course, nothing worth having comes easy, and it is essential to give it your all if you decide to take this game more seriously. Your playing style is crucial as some types are more exhausting than others. Train with intensity and focus if you train to play competitively with a good fitness level. Daily practice with regular breaks for your muscles to recover is best when playing competitively.
How Long Should You Play Pickleball Per Day?
If you’ve been active on any Pickleball forum or Facebook page, you may have noticed that many players play for several hours daily. But how long is too long? How long should you play each day?
Pickleball is best to enjoy and benefit from when played maxed two hours per day, preferably divided into two separate sessions of 45 – 60 minutes each. Not only will playing for short sessions at a time allow your body to rest, but it will also help to remain injury-free.
Avoiding injuries, especially when playing competitively, is crucial not to cause damage to your long-term fitness or playing career. Always warm up and cool down properly after a Pickleball session.
Tips To Avoid The Most Common Pickleball Injuries
Studies show injuries are less likely but not impossible to occur during Pickleball. During recovery from an injury or if you suffer from a medical condition, seek advice from your medical practitioner for guidance on how often and how long you should play.
The most common injuries obtained during Pickleball are the wrist, ankle, and shoulder-related injuries. Tennis elbow is also seen among Pickleball players. To avoid injury during play, have a proper warm-up routine. Stretching is essential in your warm-up regime to ensure you are adequately warmed up and that your muscles are relaxed.
Proper footwear is crucial as a lot of sudden movements like stopping are involved in this game. Lightweight, plain heels and comfort is the way to go when choosing footwear. A proper cool-down is just as important as a warm-up! Stay hydrated and listen to your body. Know when it’s time to quit (for the day) or slow down.
The Benefits Of Playing Pickleball Regularly
Pickleball is a game that has many benefits to offer, but it also comes with chances of injury. Fortunately, the benefits greatly outweigh the possible harms. Playing as little as once a week will help you reap many of the following benefits of this game.
Pickleball Provides Social Interaction
Pickleball is a socially interactive sport and an easy way to meet new friends with similar interests. Socializing enhances happy hormones, which is good for your overall health.
A healthy social life means good social wealth and positively influences mental health. Maintaining friendships and having a balanced support network is crucial for emotional support and boosting your confidence.
The Physical Health Benefits Of Pickleball
Pickleball is known to reduce unhealthy cholesterol levels and improve blood pressure and cardiorespiratory fitness. It also minimizes pain induced by Arthritis, enhances balance and reflexes, and, of course, provides a good workout as it exercises various muscles such as the forearms, biceps, and hamstrings!
In addition to the above, regularly playing this game improves flexibility, joint mobility, balance, and strength. These benefit teenagers, adults, and seniors when playing three to four times a week. Pickleball is also helpful as rehabilitation after recovering from an injury.
The Mental Health Benefits Of Pickleball
Physical exercise is a natural mood booster. Being active and increasing your heart rate increases the oxygen supply and blood flow to your brain. A happier brain automatically leads to a more fulfilling and productive life, followed by better sleeping patterns.
Serotonin, also known as the feel-good chemicals, is released during physical activity. Since a few hours of Pickleball can provide quite a good workout, it is evident that this could be an effective way to lift your mood. Several studies have shown that physical activity daily also reduces depression, can alleviate anxiety and improves sleep.
Each player is an individual, and it is essential to remember this. Keep your Pickleball sessions at a comfortable pace and gradually increase as you improve. For the optimal gain of all the benefits mentioned above, Pickleball is best played three to four times a week, except for competitive players, who should best play up to five or six times a week.