Have you ever gotten stuck in a fitness rut? It’s quite normal! Despite our dedication to our fitness goals—whether they are to gain muscle, lose weight, exercise more, or some variation of those things—we sometimes just don’t want to keep doing the same thing. We’re tired of going to the gym. We’re tired of the same equipment. We don’t like running or swimming or biking. And then we come up with excuse after excuse as to why we aren’t accomplishing our goals. This is when it’s important to mix things up a bit, try something new, and maybe even participate in a new activity with a friend.
That’s where pickleball comes into play. Literally! You have likely heard the name, but maybe you haven’t yet explored what it is or don’t even have an idea about how much fun it can be.
Pickleball—a sport that has been described as “the fastest growing sport in America”—is a combination of badminton, tennis, and ping-pong. It was actually invented in 1965 by three dads outside of Seattle, Washington, who were looking for something fun for their kids to do on summer break. Though it’s been around for over 50 years, it has recently increased in popularity.
And despite its name, this game in not played with pickles but with a durable wiffle ball. (According to its history, the name is a “reference to the thrown-together leftover non-starters in the ‘pickle boat’ of crew races.”)
So now that we understand the name’s origins, let’s look at what #pickleball entails. Played on a badminton-sized court with a net that’s a couple inches shorter than one used for tennis, #pickleball has been described as an easy game to learn but one that requires some strategy. According to USA Pickleball, “The rules are simple and the game is easy for beginners to learn, but can develop into a quick, fast-paced, competitive game for experienced players.”
Pickleball can be played by singles—meaning one person on either side of the net—or doubles, meaning two people on either side of the net. Opponents stand closer to each other than in a traditional tennis match, so there can even be some lighthearted trash talking to spice up the game. Each person has a paddle (the standard pickleball paddle is 16 inches long by 8 inches wide) with which they hit the wiffle ball over the net. The rules are similar to the games that #pickleball derives from and can be easily learned.
Singles #pickleball will be more strenuous than doubles, as each person must cover one entire side of the net. This results in more back-and-forth running and a little different strategy than one you’d use sharing a court. According to the #pickleball pros, strategies include serving deep in the court, serving near the T on the pickleball court, trying to hit a deep-return serve, attempting to hit to the opponent’s weaker side, hitting shots opposite of the opponent’s momentum, and more.
Doubles #pickleball has similar strategies but is played a bit differently because each person is only covering half of their side of the court. Strategies include trying to target your opponents’ weaker side, hitting deep into the court, and returning serves toward the middle of the court and to the opponents’ weaker side. Pros also suggest that players hit most of their shots down the middle, except for dinks, which are soft-shot hits on a bounce that usually go across the court.
Pickleball gives players a great outdoor workout. It’s a perfect way to enjoy the cooler fall weather and to get some fresh air with a friend or three. Plus, an hour or two on the court will work your muscles and get your heart pumping.
But in order to prepare for and to recover from this awesome new workout, you have to feed your body the proper foods. That’s where PI can help.
Nutrition for sustained workouts and for recovery
We know you work out hard and maybe even push your body to the limits. It’s great to exercise and exert effort—and #pickleball will likely work muscles you didn’t know you had! But a good workout can also deplete your body of important nutrients and hydration. So, in addition to making sure you stay well hydrated, it’s important to have some of PI’s products on hand to help you recover and to give your body the protein and nutrients it needs so you have energy to play pickleball or partake in any sport you find enjoyable.
Our Post-Workout BCAA can be added to your favorite drink before, during, or after your workout. This formula helps you recover faster and supports solid, lean muscle growth.
Our Joint Support Plus supplement will help with joint comfort and support and is packed with healthy ingredients, including glucosamine, chondroitin, BioPerine, vitamin D3, and MSM combined with turmeric and hyaluronic acid.
Our Next Level Test Booster is a testosterone support formula for men that is meant to help enhance male performance. In addition, it will help men recover faster, sleep better, and maintain a healthy libido.
And then of course we have a delicious protein bar—the Inspired-Bar 2.0—that contains 20g of protein and is perfect before or after your #pickleball game.
So go ahead, try something new. Pickleball is so popular now that you should be able to find a court nearby. Grab a friend, a paddle and ball, watch a how-to video, and embark on a new adventure. This fun sport is sure to beat the doldrums of the regular workout, and you’ll likely find yourself laughing and enjoying the camaraderie that naturally stems from this friendly and competitive game.
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