Pickleball Calories Burned: The Fitness Impact

If you are looking for a fun and effective way to lose weight, you might want to consider playing pickleball. Whether you are a seasoned player or just getting started, pickleball can be a great way to achieve your fitness goals while enjoying the game. But are you wondering how many calories do you burn playing pickleball? If yes, this guide is the perfect solution for you. Let’s explore the caloric burn, weight loss potential, and other health perks this dynamic sport offers.

Calories Burned in a Pickleball Game

Curious about the calories burned in pickleball? Well, the answer to this question depends on two things: the way you play and at what rate is your body burning calories, the metabolic rate.

Let’s make this simple. 

Active Game Intensity

Playing a highly active and intense game results in more calories burned compared to a laid-back game.

Metabolic Rate Impact

Your metabolic rate influences the number of calories burned, varying with factors such as weight, body composition, and age.

A higher metabolic rate translates to a greater number of calories burned per pickleball game.

Caloric Estimates

For a 160-pound person, an hour of play can burn up to 500 calories, increasing to 700 for someone weighing 200 pounds.

Step Counts

Step counts during play can range from 4,000 to 7,000, depending on your play style.

Pickleball Calories Burned

Losing Weight with Pickleball

Yes, you can shed pounds playing pickleball! Weight loss mainly depends on a caloric deficit, which means you have to burn more calories and consume less. Fun fact, you will need a calorie deficit of 3500 calories to lose one pound of weight. But this value can vary depending on several factors such as your age, your height, genetics, weight, and activity level.

Participating in a sport like pickleball on a regular basis can have a significant impact on one’s physical fitness and overall well-being. Each match typically lasts for an hour, providing ample opportunity for players to engage in cardiovascular activity, improve their coordination and agility, and socialize with others who share their passion for the game.

Additional Health Benefits

If you think burning calories is the only benefit you get out of pickleball, you are wrong. Beyond calorie burn, pickleball provides a number of health benefits.

Cardiovascular Improvement

Regular pickleball play enhances cardiovascular health, making it an excellent low-impact activity.

Joint-Friendly Option

Ideal for individuals with joint-related issues due to age or injury, as the sport is low impact, reducing stress on joints and muscles.

Lightweight Equipment

The use of lightweight paddles and balls further minimizes strain on joints during pickleball play.

Chemical Release

Engaging in pickleball or any exercise triggers the release of chemicals like endorphins and bioamines.

Mood Enhancement

Endorphins contribute to mood improvement, preventing mental disorders like anxiety or depression and promoting mental well-being.

MET Estimation for Pickleball

The MET (Metabolic Equivalent of a Task) value can help measure the amount of calorie burn during physical activities. The formula used is 

METs x 3.5 x (your body weight in kilograms) / 200 = calories burned per minute

For pickleball, a 6.5 MET value is proposed, falling between badminton and tennis. The MET value for tennis is 8 whereas that of singles badminton ranges between 5.5 to 7. This aligns with the estimated calories burned per minute formula. Using the formula given above, you can easily calculate the number of calories your body burned during a pickleball game.

Pickleball Calories Burned

Calories Burned in Pickleball Games: Singles vs. Doubles

Singles pickleball burns more calories than doubles. You may have thought how is that possible? It is because of the increased movement and ball engagement. Though not scientifically proven, a 25% energy-use ratio difference between singles and doubles is suggested, similar to tennis.

Tips for Maximizing Caloric Burn

Although pickleball is a great way to burn calories, here are a few tips for you to follow if you want to maximize the caloric burn in your game:

Play longer

Remember that every minute you spend playing pickleball, you burn calories in your body. Extend game times or add more rounds for increased burn.

Play more often

If you wish to accelerate your weight loss process, make a habit of playing pickleball more often and consider adding extra play days.

Play more intense matches

As we discussed earlier, a hard intense game will help you burn more calories. Challenge yourself and play against more competitive opponents.

Use a Fitness Tracker

To keep yourself motivated and to keep an eye on the amount of calories you burn, use a fitness tracker and monitor the calories burned during play and daily activities.

Pickleball Calories Burned

Pickleball vs. Tennis Caloric Burn

Generally speaking, the number of calories burned ouckorball is generally lesser than those burned in a tennis game. It may be because the players have to span across larger tennis courts, or maybe because the ball moves much faster and players strike the ball harder. 

But the enjoyment and duration of pickleball play can compensate. The key is finding the sport you enjoy the most for consistent, intense engagement. Simply put, if you enjoy a game, you will consistently play the game and lose more pounds. 

Bottom Line

In short, the calories burned in pickleball depend on factors like intensity, age, and weight. However, our advice is not to rely too much on the numbers. Instead, locate a nearby pickleball court and make regular play a priority – the key is to have fun! As you develop strategies and skills, your sessions will naturally become more frequent and active, fostering better exercise. Remember, the most effective workout routine is the one you can consistently follow. 

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