top of page

Wellness Initiative

Can Pickleball Help you Live Longer?

Ernie Medina, Jr.
USA Pickleball Ambassador Board at Large: Health & Wellness, Recreational & Training 
Loma Linda, CA

Get ActivewithPickleball


"My professional career has been based on preventative healthcare... helping people change their lifestyles, adopt healthier lifestyles, to treat some of our top 10 killers which are connected to our lifestyle behaviors -- smoking, what we eat, and lack of physical activity are the TOP 3 behaviors connected with our major killers (heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and stroke). I've spent over 21 years in a medical group and 6 years back in academia working in this field. I wish I had known about pickleball back then, because I see pickleball as one of the greatest public health interventions we can do for all people.

And now, in light of the pendemic, I see pickleball as the 'perfect pandemic panacea' because of all the benefits pickleball brings!"

"If we could put all the benefits of pickleball in a pill, it would be one of the top prescribed drugs in the world"
- Ernie Medina Jr.

Ernie's 79 year old mother introduces him to pickleball, still practicing physican at 82 years old!

"Playing pickleball allows you to work on your balance, agility, reflexes, and hand-eye coordination without putting excessive strains on your body."
- Bill Roehrs, USA Pickleball District Ambassador- Nebraska

Harvard Medical School's Dr. John Ratey, one of the leading researchers on exercise and brain health, talks about the 5 criteria that make an exercise the best type for brain health... and pickleball forces you to use your brain, gets your heart rate up, you socialize and interact with others, usually participate outside with nature and you will keep coming back to play this "healthy addiction".



Spectrum Health/Health Beat Staff reports ..... "Pickleball is played by all ages and not only has the fun factor, but has many health benefits that go along with the sport. Playing pickleball burns calories and the player will have fewer injuries due to the low impact of the game. You will also reap the benefits of reducing your risk of heart attack and chronic disease while toning your muscles and increasing your energy."


Kent Lindeman, Executive Director of the Association for Applied Sports Psychology writes in Pickleball Magazine, "pickleball is proven to improve mood, reduce depression and boost self-esteem. It also encourages good communication, team building and leadership skills as well as social interaction - all essential for maintaining positive mental health. Pickleball attracts people of all types and walks of life to both recreation and tournament play. Meeting new friends and competitors is always beneficial to your mental health."


20 Surprising Health Benefits of

Playing Pickleball

  • Protects against heart disease and reduce your risk of a heart attack

  • Stronger bones, muscles, joints and lower the risk of developing osteoporosis and fracturing bones

  • Helps to control weight, improves metabolism and prevents obesity

  • Lowers the risk of Type 2 diabetes and health problems associated with diabetes

  • Helps lower blood pressure without medication

  • Lowers low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, which is commonly referred to as bad cholesterol.

  • Decrease risk of the different diseases

  • Improves balance and control, reducing the risk of falling

  • Helps improve mobility or agility issues

  • Helps to improve reflexes, which can reduce the risk of falling

  • Faster recovery from hospitalization or bed rest

  • Protects against dementia and Alzheimer’s disease

  • Helps to prevent insomnia and other sleep issues

  • Enhances brain function and helps prevent memory loss and cognitive decline

  • Reduces anxiety and depression-related behaviors

  • Fosters improvements in mood and feelings of well-being

  • Is a conduit for engaging in social activity, which promotes higher self-esteem and lower levels of loneliness

  • Increasing overall life expectancy

Mental Health Benefits of


  • Reduces Anxiety Symptoms. Playing pickleball reduces anxiety symptoms in individuals who play regularly. Physical activity releases endorphins, which helps the game act as an anti-anxiety method.

  • Alleviates Depression. While depression is not a curable disease, it is treatable. The key is to catch symptoms early. ...

  • Promotes Social Interaction. Pickleball is great because it promotes social interaction. Many individuals can get some of the same health benefits from playing pickleball from swimming, running, or walking.

  • Improves Overall Self-Esteem. An individual's mental health relies heavily on how they feel about themselves, and low self-esteem can cause their mental health to decline.

  • Alleviates Stress Levels. What individuals need to understand about stress is there are two kinds. The first type of stress is motivational and positive.

bottom of page