Wellness Tips

Pickleball: Tips to avoid injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Exercise and healthy habits are important at all ages, but Mecklenburg County leaders are putting some focus on older groups. Earlier this week, the parks and recreation department announced the senior games, a chance for people 50 and up to participate in several sports competitions this spring.

That includes bowling, swimming and racket events including a new favorite here locally and across the country, pickleball.

Pickleball is very popular in Charlotte right now. A brand-new complex is set to open in South End and local clubs are packed full of people playing the game.

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Plus, this spring, it will be part of a two-month sports competition to promote health and wellness for those 50 and up, hosted by the Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department.

“The biggest benefit of playing pickleball is it gets some of our folks moving who maybe weren’t moving before. A lot of the pickleball participants were sedentary and as they enter into their 50s and 60s to now have an outlet that forces them to move and use their bodies in new ways, I think is wonderful,” Dr. Eric Warren, a sports medicine doctor with Atrium Health, said.

Warren said staying active throughout life is vital to staying healthy. But as this new group of people pick up rackets, he said shoulder, ankle and knee injuries are somewhat common.

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“With arthritis you’ve lost the cushion in the space between the bones and you might not feel that just walking around but if you start a sport that involves a lot of lunging pivoting twisting all of a sudden that knee might start to ache,” Warren said.

Instead of stretching beforehand, he recommends a dynamic warm up, raising heart rates and moving joints.

“After you’re done playing stretching for flexibility can be helpful. Then listening to your body. It takes time to acclimate to any new activity,” Warren said.

Registration for the Mecklenburg County Senior Games is open until March 10. The games run from April 3 to June 10.

Chloe Leshner: Contact Chloe Leshner at [email protected] and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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