Why Croquet Is A Better Workout Than You Think

In the world of backyard summer games, croquet is the king of nostalgia. Even if you didn't play it, there is a good chance that someone has a croquet mallet in hand in at least one old family photo. In addition, many summer camps seemed to share the idea that croquet was a must-have lawn sport for campers.

Croquet is much more than a way to spend a slow summer afternoon with the family or kill some time before dinner with your fellow campers. The United States Croquet Association notes that there are multiple variations, some of which are regional, such as American croquet. Each version has its own rules and regulations, as well as different layouts for the goalposts, known as wickets or hoops. Croquet can be played by both adults and children, but it is surprisingly complex. Additionally, it is an effective low-intensity workout that can also provide mental health benefits.

Croquet offers a variety of benefits

Many exercises are geared toward people who want to break a sweat and torch calories, but there is a lot to be said for low-impact workouts as well. Albert Kaplan, a physical therapist at OrthoCarolina, says it's easy to overlook the benefits of a workout that doesn't require ballistic movements and a fast-paced rhythm. However, low-impact workouts can be ideal when you need to give your body a break. 

As Health Fitness Revolution states, croquet players walk more than 2 miles during a game, which amounts to a decent calorie burn with little impact on the joints. The game also requires precision and problem solving, combining the physical workout with a mental one. Because croquet gets people outside into the sunshine and fresh air, participating in a game can help players de-stress and improve their moods, according to South University. "The fresh air and sunlight have the largest benefits," says Dr. Susanne Preston, a clinical mental health counseling instructor at South University. "For example, with increased exposure to natural sunlight, incidents of seasonal affective disorder decrease. When individuals are exposed to natural sunlight, the vitamin D in their skin helps to elevate their moods."

Croquet might not make you break a sweat, but it can boost your mood and keep you active without straining your joints.