There are many reasons as to why people play sports, from the sociability to the demand for a competitive hobby. One of the main reasons however is simply to increase exercise uptake and become a healthier, fitter individual.
Since its inception, padel has gone from strength to strength with increases to popularity, accessibility, infrastructure, and participation growing at a rapid rate. An all-encompassing sport, padel is suited to people of all ages and abilities whilst the general low cost of getting involved in the sport is seen as a huge pull factor in its burgeoning worldwide potential.
An often overlooked aspect of padel is the vast number of physical benefits it can bring to those who play it. Most sports improve fitness and health, however often high intensity sports such as rugby or football for example, can do more harm than good, highlighted by the limited window of top-level participation and the wide range of injuries commonly picked up due to their physicality.
We break down the variety of health benefits that playing padel can bring, and why choosing the sport could be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made for your body…
Motor Skills & Co-Ordination
Similar to other racket sports such as tennis, ping pong and squash, padel relies on fast reflexes and good coordination abilities. This taps into a section of the brain knows as the cerebellum which is responsible for a number of motor functions such as balance, coordination, and posture.
Motor skills help promote brain development which as a result decreases the risk of contracting cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s and memory loss, whilst also keeping your body physically agile and your reflexes sharp and reactive.
When starting out as a beginner in padel, it’s predicted that matches last approximately 45 minutes to an hour, with match times longer the more improved and well-versed you and your partner become. Padel involves lots of short bursts of running, on average a beginner player runs over 2km a match.
This vastly strengthens the cardiovascular system by improving heart rate and your nervous system which has an overriding positive impact on your immune system, as well as your stamina and endurance. Cardiovascular exercise has huge health benefits, particularly for those who are a bit older, correlating in burning fat, reducing fatigue as well as decreasing the possibility of heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, strokes and certain types of cancer.
Builds Muscle Tone
Padel involves you being on your feet for a lengthy period of time, or at least trying to be. This means your feet, legs, buttocks, abdomen, and back are getting a good physical workout, building muscle tone in these areas appropriately.
Padel also involves you holding and swinging a racket which will naturally build muscle tone in your arms, highlighting the various sections of your body which are strengthening when playing the sport. Many are unaware of the strength building qualities of racket sports such as padel, often believing it only improves cardiovascular properties.
Relieves Stress & Improves Mental Health
The benefits of physical exercise having a direct impact on mental health has long been documented. According to the NCBI, ‘Exercise improves mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative mood and by improving self-esteem and cognitive function.2 Exercise has also been found to alleviate symptoms such as low self-esteem and social withdrawal. Thirty minutes of exercise of moderate intensity, such as brisk walking for 3 days a week, is sufficient for these health benefits.’
Padel, due to its social qualities in requiring to play with another person or set of people, provides an outlet to destress and enjoy quality time. The ability to focus intensely on movements of the ball highlights the high levels of concentration needed to play, which can offer meditative qualities enabling you to take a much-needed mental break away from everyday life.
That’s a lot of health benefits isn’t it? Padel really is a sport which can give you a full workout, improving your mental health simultaneously and all whilst having fun with your friends, family or work colleagues. The positives are plentiful and will provide your body with the boost of health it craves no matter what age, ability or person you may be.