Pickle-what? Pickleball!

Karen McNew McGuire's picture
By Karen McNew McGuire on June 6, 2019

What is pickleball? And more importantly, how can you play it for fun and fitness?

Our video team visited Carilion Wellness's Westlake location, where six brand-new outdoor pickleball courts have just opened, to find out.

Like tennis, pickleball can be played as singles or doubles. Players stand on either side of a center net and hit the ball back and forth, with each side serving until they commit a "fault" or lose the point. Games are normally played to 11 points. 

Pickleball has long been popular among active seniors, and interest has grown quickly among people of all ages in recent years because it's easy to learn and you can play with as many friends as you like, at any level of competitiveness.

Plus, it's just fun to play!

Katie Tate, director of operations at Carilion Wellness Westlake, encourages people of all ages to find physical, social activities like pickleball that make fitness fun. She cautions against overdoing it, however.

"You must listen to your body," she says. "If your body is not tolerating your activity in a normal way—being sore is normal, being sore for a week or more may not be!—then you may want to reconsider the intensity of your activity."

And remember to drink lots of water and fuel your body well.

"Hydration is key," says Katie, "and consuming foods that are rich in protein, good carbohydrates and good fats will round out your new lifestyle!"

Whether it's pickleball, running or gardening, find something you love to do—there's no better way to guarantee you'll keep doing it!

Want to join the pickleball club? Try out Carilion Wellness for free to check it out!

Stay tuned for more about exercise after age 50, with tips from the Carilion Wellness team!