Pickleball has experienced a rise in popularity recently. It’s a wonderful way to exercise and have fun.
However, there are still many questions about the physical effects of this sport. How many calories can we burn playing pickleball? Can it help us lose weight?
Well, pickleball is ideal for those who need an effective aerobic workout. In other words, we can burn off many calories per game and shed those extra pounds.
Also, pickleball is suitable for everyone! People of all ages can play this sport and reap all its mental and physical health benefits.
Do you want to know how many calories you can burn while playing pickleball? Read on! We’ll see how much energy we need for each session, the factors that affect our caloric burn, and more!
How Many Calories Does Pickleball Burn?
On average, a 160-lb person can burn around 500 calories per hour while playing pickleball. However, a 200-lb individual can burn up to 700 calories during the same session.
If we play harder and the match is more intense, our calorie burn increases. In these cases, a 160-lb person might burn 700 calories, while a 200-lb person might burn 900 calories per hour.
As you can see, various factors can influence the number of calories we burn while playing pickleball. Let’s learn more about the two main categories.
How We Play
The more intense the game and the harder we play, the more calories we will burn. It happens with all sports and workouts. An intense pickleball match will help us burn more calories than a casual game.
Who We Are
Also, the number of calories we burn is influenced by different physical variables. This group includes body weight, age, body composition, gender, and more. Let’s delve into each factor.
Factors Affecting Calories Burned When Playing Pickleball
When it comes to calories burned, pickleball is one of the best sports out there. As mentioned, in just one hour, an average person could burn 500 calories or more. However, these estimates vary based on the following factors:
Overall, the more we weigh, the more calories we can burn while playing pickleball or another sport and working out.
A heavier body needs more energy to move. That’s why a 200-lb person burns more calories than a 160-lb individual.
How our physical characteristics influence our calorie burn gets even more complicated when we consider our body composition.
People with lean body mass tend to have a higher resting metabolic rate, which translates to more calories burned when playing pickleball.
Lean body mass is our total weight minus the fat. Therefore, it’s calculated based on the body’s muscles and water.
In simple terms, the more muscles we have, the more calories we can burn. That’s why men tend to burn more calories than women.
Whether we play pickleball or any other sport, intensity also determines the number of calories we burn.
Actually, how hard we play determines how much energy we need. When I want to burn more calories, I push myself to play harder. Running faster and working up a sweat can help us lose weight!
Long exercise sessions burn more calories. Therefore, it’s ideal to play a few extra pickleball games if we can.
Although I usually play best 2 out of 3, when I want to burn more calories because I’m on a weight loss plan, I try to play best 3 out of 5.
Playing pickleball for an hour can burn over 500 calories. Can you guess how much energy we need to play for two hours? We’ll burn twice as many calories.
Singles vs. Doubles
On average, when we play singles matches, we burn around 25% more calories than when we play doubles.
It happens because doubles matches don’t require pickleball players to move as far. Also, we’ll likely hit the ball less often, so we’ll burn fewer calories.
Pickleball Calories Burned Estimates
These are the estimates of the number of calories we can burn if we play singles pickleball:
- A 150-lb person could burn about 464 calories in an hour
- A 175-lb individual could burn around 540 calories in an hour
- A 200-lb person could burn about 620 calories in an hour
While there are no specific data on calorie burn in doubles pickleball, based on the energy-use ratio for singles and doubles tennis, these are the estimates:
- A 150-lb person could burn about 348 calories in an hour
- A 170-lb individual could burn about 405 calories per hour
- A 200-lb person could burn about 465 calories in an hour
Since a standard pickleball match lasts around 60 minutes, most players track calories burned per hour.
How to Burn More Calories When Playing Pickleball
When I want to increase the number of calories I burn during a typical pickleball game, I consider the following tips:
- Play longer: Every minute we spend playing pickleball or working out can help us burn calories.
- Exercise harder: More intense matches require more effort and help us burn more calories.
- Play more often: Developing a pickleball routine is ideal for maintaining a healthy weight in the long term.
- Wear a weighted vest: This is an effective way to burn more calories while playing pickleball.
Can You Lose Weight Playing Pickleball?
We already mentioned that in terms of calorie burning, playing pickleball is effective, but can it help us lose weight?
The short answer is yes! Since it requires a huge number of calories burned, playing pickleball is one of the best sports to lose weight.
However, as with other activities and exercises, we should be in a caloric deficit to burn fat and shed those extra pounds.
As a rule of thumb, we have to burn more calories than we eat. This will make our body get energy by burning stored fat.
Most people need a caloric deficit of around 3,500 calories to burn a pound. However, it can also vary depending on various factors, such as age, activity level, and gender.
Do you remember how many calories we burn playing pickleball? It’s an average of 500 per hour! If we play this sport regularly, we can hit that caloric deficit in no time.
What About the Other Calories We Burn Throughout the Day?
Our body needs energy to perform any function, even if we’re resting or sleeping. Therefore, we don’t just burn calories when we play pickleball or work out.
When I want to lose weight, I track the number of calories I burn in a day. This way, I have better control over my calorie burn and intake.
In order to track our caloric expenditure, we need to estimate our basal metabolic rate (BMR). It’s also known as the resting metabolic rate.
On average, each person burns around 2,000 calories a day. However, the BMR is a ballpark figure and can vary as well, as it depends on different factors.
I recommend the Harris-Benedict Equation to calculate the resting metabolic rate. Find it below!
- To calculate men’s BMR: 66.47 + (6.24 × weight in pounds) + (12.7 × height in inches) − (6.75 × age in years)
- To calculate women’s BMR: 65.51 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years)
However, if you aren’t good at math, you can use a calculator. There is an ocean of options on the internet!
Once you know how many calories you expend at rest, subtract that number and the calories you burn from working out from the calories you eat. If there’s a caloric deficit, you can lose weight.
Health Benefits of Playing Pickleball
We burn a huge number of calories when we play pickleball. That’s great for those who want to stay in shape and shed some extra pounds. However, this sport offers many other benefits!
Overall, racket sports promote better cardiovascular health. As a result, we’ll have less risk of suffering from hypertension, heart attack, or stroke.
Seniors and people who have sustained orthopedic injuries can also reap many benefits if they play pickleball.
Since both paddles and balls are light, this sport is low-impact. People of all ages can play and experience less joint or muscle stress.
Also, like all sports, playing pickleball can help our body release endorphins and bioamines, which have a positive effect on our mood. Consequently, exercising can also combat depression and anxiety.
Besides helping us feel better physically, pickleball is a social activity. Therefore, we can bond with others and spend quality time with our loved ones.
In order to know how many calories we burn playing pickleball, we have to consider different factors, but the number is huge!
However, I think we shouldn’t stress too much about that. Pickleball is an amazing and fun sport that can bring other health benefits!
Also, if we develop a pickleball routine, we’ll reach our goals while enjoying our fitness journey.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Many Calories Do You Burn If You Play Pickleball For Three Hours?
As mentioned, it depends on various factors. However, playing pickleball for three hours could help you burn around 1,000 calories.
How Long Is a Pickleball Game?
On average, a pickleball game lasts around 20 minutes. However, a full match usually takes about an hour, as it’s best 2 out of 3 games.
Is Pickleball a HIIT Exercise?
HIIT or High-Intensity Interval Training refers to workouts involving repeated cycles of high-energy work. So, yes, pickleball is a HIIT exercise!