Want proof? As a part of the continued Apple Heart and Movement Study, Apple and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (an affiliate of Harvard Medical School) just released some stats comparing the health metrics between 4,799 pickleball and seven,780 tennis players, as recorded on their Apple Watches during greater than 250,000 games over the course of 32 months.
What do the pickleball vs tennis stats show?
Overall, a lot of the metrics between the games were fairly similar, with just a few slight variations between the 2.
Duration: The researchers found the typical length of a pickleball workout was barely longer than tennis workouts (90 minutes versus 81 minutes, respectively), they usually saw greater variability within the time period of time played.
Intensity: Analyzing heart rate data from the Apple Watch, researchers found that peak heart rate averaged 152 beats per minute in tennis in comparison with 143 beats per minute in pickleball, a difference of nine beats per minute. Tennis players also spent nine percent more time in higher-intensity heart rate zones.
Consistency: There was more seasonal variation within the variety of tennis games played all year long, while the variety of pickleball workouts steadily rose throughout your complete time period studied (and surpassed the variety of tennis games starting in July 2023).
Mental health effects: All study participants were asked on a quarterly basis to fill out a mental health survey, which incorporates a depression screening tool. The average scores from each frequent pickleball and tennis players showed they were less prone to be depressed than the general population within the study.
So, what do those differences mean health-wise?
Interventional cardiologist Nadim Geloo, MD, the senior medical director of Abbott’s Structural Heart, says that physical activities like tennis and pickleball are each great ways to extend your heart rate, which might improve your overall cardiovascular health.
“While people on average did play pickleball just a few minutes longer than those that played tennis, the individuals who played tennis had a higher-intensity heart rate, which might have greater health advantages, including burning more calories and lowering cholesterol,” says Dr. Geloo. Yet he points out that these differences were ultimately reasonably small.
“In practical terms, for most individuals, the slight difference in heart rate between the 2 activities just isn’t prone to be relevant,” he says. “The necessary message is to get out and move!”
The consistency with which pickleball players kept at it definitely puts a degree within the pickleball court. Dr. Geloo explains that probably the most significant difference within the magnitude of advantages we see from exercise comes when comparing someone who does little or no or no exercise to someone who meets the physical activity requirements for getting a sufficient amount of moderate-intensity exercise every week.
Ultimately, Dr. Geloo says that each sports can provide great cardio workouts. “Both a brief and intense workout and an extended and more sustained effort have their health advantages, but which option is true for you is dependent upon your current health status and level of activity, in addition to your long-term goals,” says Dr. Geloo. If you’re undecided which could also be the best fit for you, he suggests consulting your primary care physician or cardiologist.
How are you able to make pickleball and tennis workouts even higher on your health?
If you ought to capitalize on the health advantages of pickleball and tennis, there’s just a few things you’ll be able to do:
Warm up first
Physicians across the country report an uptick in pickleball injuries particularly. “Just like every other physical activity, it’s necessary to stretch prior to playing either sport to arrange your body,” says Dr. Geloo. Exercise physiologist Carmen Van Rensburg previously told Well+Good that she recommends a five to 10-minute warm-up before a game, consisting of slightly jogging then stretching all the main muscle groups you’ll use on the court: your calves, quads, hamstrings, inner thighs, lower back, shoulders, elbows, and wrists.
Keep your heart rate up
“During the short breaks between points, consider doing a gentle jog in place to take care of an elevated heart rate,” suggests Dr. Geloo for many who actually need to challenge the cardiovascular system and aerobic endurance. You’ll know you are hitting the best heart rate zone in the event you can talk easily in brief sentences and your respiration is slightly heavy but not excessively so, he says.
As much necessary because it is to get enough exercise and play pickleball or tennis with sufficient intensity to get a great workout, Dr. Geloo says that it’s also vital to offer your body time to rest and get better after playing.
“Making rest a part of a consistent workout routine—and maintaining that energetic routine—may help with playing either sport longer and more intensely, which might contribute to long-term health advantages,” says Dr. Geloo. “Everyone is different: Whether you’re recent to the game or a seasoned pro, remember to hearken to your body and look ahead to signs of when it’s time to take a break or push forward.”
Keep it fun
“If it’s been some time because you exercised, don’t tackle an excessive amount of too fast; as a substitute, go slow and grow!” says Dr. Geloo. “Whether you select tennis, pickleball, or one other sport, select one that you just enjoy and one that can assist you to follow a consistent routine long-term. The secret’s to maintain it going!”