Unlocking Success: Health and Fitness Tips for Pickleball Players from a Pharmacist

May 1, 2024

As a pharmacist and a pickleball player, I understand the importance of maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle both on and off the court. With years of experience as a pharmacist and playing sports, I’ve witnessed firsthand the positive impact that proper nutrition, exercise, and injury prevention can have on overall well-being. In this post, I’m excited to share some health and fitness tips tailored specifically for pickleball enthusiasts, drawing from my own personal perspective as both a pharmacist and a player.

Stay Hydrated: Hydration is key for optimal performance and recovery, especially during physical activity. Make sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after playing pickleball to prevent dehydration. Consider extra electrolytes in extreme heat, or lengthy playing sessions.

Warm-Up and Stretch: Before hitting the court, it’s important to warm up your muscles with some light cardiovascular exercises like jogging or jumping jacks. Follow this with dynamic stretches to loosen up your muscles and joints, focusing on areas commonly used in pickleball such as the shoulders, arms, and legs.

Protect Your Joints: Pickleball involves a lot of quick movements and changes in direction, which can put stress on your joints. Consider wearing supportive footwear and using proper technique to reduce the risk of joint injuries, especially in the knees and ankles.

Build Strength and Endurance: Incorporate strength training and cardiovascular exercises into your fitness routine to improve your overall performance on the court. Exercises that target the core, upper body, and lower body can help you generate more power and endurance during games.

Maintain Proper Nutrition: Fuel your body with a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains to support your energy levels and recovery. For all you hardcore picklers, consider consulting with a nutritionist or dietitian to optimize your dietary intake for peak performance.

Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to any signs of fatigue, discomfort, or pain during and after playing pickleball. Rest when needed, and don’t push yourself beyond your limits to avoid overuse injuries and burnout. Playing one more game (or point) isn’t worth being on the injured list for a longer period of time.

Cross-Train: Incorporating other forms of exercise into your routine can help prevent boredom and overuse injuries associated with repetitive pickleball movements. Consider activities like swimming, cycling, or yoga to complement your pickleball training and improve overall fitness.

Protect Your Skin: Since pickleball is often played outdoors, don’t forget to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays by wearing sunscreen, protective clothing, and a hat, especially during peak sun exposure hours.

By following these health and fitness tips, pickleball players can enhance their performance, reduce the risk of injuries, and enjoy the game to its fullest. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just getting started, prioritizing your physical well-being both on and off the court is essential for long-term success and enjoyment.  Stop asking what the score is, and elevate your pickleball game to new heights!