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Get your blood pumping with pickleball

Plus, other fitness trends

Instead of a sit-down coffee date with friends, try pickleball instead. Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in the country. It's a great way to socialize, meet new people, and have fun while being active.

Pickleball can be played indoors or outdoors on a badminton-size court with a slightly lower than tennis-size net. You’ll also need a pickleball paddle and a lightweight perforated plastic ball. The rules are simple and the game is easy for beginners to learn, but it can develop into a fast-paced, competitive game for experienced players.

play pickleball indoors or outdoors on a pickleball court

“I have a blast playing pickleball,” says Wellmark member Mari Thies, 62, of Iowa Falls. A lifelong fan of racquet sports like tennis and racquetball, pickleball was a natural transition for Thies and her group of friends. They’ve been playing for more than two years.

“Pickleball is not as hard on the joints as other racquet sports, and because you use a wiffleball, it slows it down just enough,” she says. “It’s also an ab workout because we laugh so much.”

“Overall, pickleball is such a welcoming sport,” adds Thies. “The rules are simple and once you get going, it’s not long until you really have it down. Plus, you get some cardio and you sweat. It gets the endorphins moving.”

To find out if pickleball courts and leagues are available in your community, check with your local city government or Parks and Recreation department.

Try spikeball for something a little more portable

Spikeball is also growing in popularity and is a fun way to spend quality time with family and friends. Spikeball can be played on grass, sand or indoors. All you need is a spikeball kit External Site and four people. The net looks a bit like a mini-trampoline and the movements and rules of the game are similar to volleyball.

Save money on health and fitness products with Blue365®

Wellmark members get exclusive discounts on fitness club memberships, activity tracking devices, fitness apparel and more. Simply use your Wellmark ID card to find the Blue365 healthy deals and daily offers External Site, like:

  • 15 percent off spikeball sets and accessories
  • Up to 30 percent off fitness tracking devices such as Fitbit®, Polar® and Garmin®
  • Discounts on enrollment fees and monthly dues at gyms nationwide through the Gym Network 360, which includes fitness centers like Anytime Fitness®, Gold's Gym, 24 Hour Fitness, and Curves®.
  • Savings on eye exams and frames at retailers such as Davis Vision®
  • 30–60 percent off hearing aids with retailers such as TruHearing®

Blue365® is a discount program available to members who have medical coverage with Wellmark. This is NOT insurance. Blue365® is a registered mark of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.