Aging isn’t always a good enough reason, but people always use it as an excuse not to stay fit. If anything, the older we get, the more important it is for us to exercise and keep our bodies and minds functioning optimally. There’s probably a sport that you enjoy playing, even as you grow older. Forget about cheering while sitting on the sofa; it’s time to get active!. To help you stay fit as you age, we have assembled a list of 7 sports that are perfect for senior citizens and others.
Swimming is the best thing you can do for your joints and bones, especially since it’s a low impact sport. It’s great for your circulation and it makes your heart stronger. As we age, we gradually lose a lot of bone density. From ages 25 to 50, our bones pretty much grow and break down at equal rates. After 50 though, the breakdown of bones and loss of bone density increase, which, in turn, makes our bones more susceptible to fractures and breaks. Older women are especially at risk of osteoporosis since, generally, women’s bones are smaller and less dense than men. Swimming is a refreshing exercise, so search for a community pool near you and dive in.
If you’re looking for a sport that’s easy to play, takes pounds off your weight, and also improves coordination, badminton can be a great choice. It doesn’t involve any heavy or complicated equipment, making it a popular choice among seniors. You can easily set up a badminton court right in your own backyard. It’s a casual, fun sport, but can be also very competitive, depending on how you want to play it! It can be played outdoors or indoors and involves either two or four people. It gives you a fun way to increase your muscle strength, flexibility, and metabolism rate. A bonus benefit is that it also helps you fight off stress.
Water sports can include activities other than swimming. A good old rowboat or canoe will give you a total body workout that few other sports can offer. You might think it’s mainly for the upper body, but in fact, it uses 86% of all your muscles. Rowing is a great cardio exercise, and you can try it at any fitness level you’re in. If you can get out in fresh air and row, great! If not, consider purchasing an indoor rowing machine, which is a better alternative than a treadmill or elliptical machine.
- Ping Pong
It’s time to introduce the element of competition. After all, what are sports without competition? Ping pong is one of the best sports that help keep your mind sharp and your hand/eye coordination intact, as your eye is constantly on the ball. The more you play, the more your coordination improves. It’s also an excellent cardiovascular sport that loosens up sore muscles. As these ping pong experts explain, this is an exciting game that most seniors enjoy, and the best part is that it requires a few basic equipment. Paddles are very affordable, and you can even find some great DIY ideas on how to make your own table. It won’t be long before friends and family start coming over more often for some ping pong action!
Most seniors will not devour a 1442-calorie meal, but let’s say it happens. They could burn all those calories by walking 18 holes while shouldering their clubs on a golf course. Even spectators are said to cover between 7500 – 10,000 walking steps, which is the recommended number of daily steps for optimal health. It’s a great sport that promotes social interaction and expands your social network to a new level. If you want to improve your physical and mental well-being before old-age problems start to catch up with you, head outdoors and swing!
There’s no better way to feel young again than to hop on your bike and do some cycling. If you suffer from joint paints or mild arthritis, and also need to do more cardio workouts, cycling can be ideal for you. You’ll probably find several biking events and races happening in your community that you could join when you’re in a competitive mood. It’s one of the best outdoor sports you can participate in, but the good thing about it is that you can also cycle on a stationary bike when you can’t get outside. All in all, you can’t go wrong with this sport.
- Cross-Country Skiing
We can’t go without mentioning a winter sport. Cross-country skiing gives you a full-body workout and is easier on the body than downhill skiing. Just make sure you wear the right protective gear to stay safe while skiing.
When you get the nod from your physician, you can enjoy some of the sports you did when you were younger and add new ones as you age. Regularly engaging in any sport or physical activity will help you age gracefully. Some sports might be too intense, but there are so many others to choose from depending on your age, fitness level, and health status.