Lifestyle & Parenting

Active Aging: How Seniors Can Stay Fit with Sports

April 30, 2024

Every elderly person needs to ask themselves, “Am I getting enough physical exercise in my day-to-day routine?” Routine physical activity is a must for every individual of all ages and statuses and is not only for those competing in Super Bowl LIX. However, in older adults, these exercises are much more needed to keep the muscles, bones, and joints healthy while also reducing the risk of diseases.

While some may wonder what kind of exercise elderly people can engage in, we are here to provide the answer. In this article, we look into common and practical sports that older adults can participate in and the benefits of each. Let’s dig in.

Common Sports Older Ones Can Engage In

1.    Walking

Many fail to realize that the simple act of walking is a sport in itself. It helps maintain bone health and is good for the heart. As such, going for walks around the block, park, or on a treadmill is a great way to stay fit. The best part is you don’t have to go out of your way; all you need is 15 to 30 minutes of walking at least four times per week.

2.    Dancing

Another commonly overlooked activity that counts as a full-body exercise is dancing, and this is probably because it’s a fun activity. But who says seniors can’t have fun while they burn calories away? The best part of this activity is that it doesn’t feel like working.

Many dance classes are available that cater to the needs of older adults; you only need to find the right dance style for you. This activity can improve energy levels, memory, and mood, as well as reduce the risk of heart disease.

3.    Swimming

This is another great way for elderly people to stay active, especially because working out underwater alleviates joint pressure. Thus, it is the best sport for those battling arthritis or wanting a good night’s rest. Overall, swimming is good for burning calories, enhancing cardiovascular fitness, and getting muscles to work hard.

4.    Golf

Golf is a sport centered around swinging, and what better way to get your joints moving and improve blood flow? Besides the health benefits, golf is also a sport that encourages social interaction and routine. Additionally, the concentration involved in the game also helps improve focus and mental well-being.

5.    Tennis

While acting as an excellent sport for hand-to-eye coordination, tennis also works to improve balance. With all the running around and swinging the racket, this sport is perfect for a full-body workout. Only make sure you don’t rush into it so your body can get used to its intensity as time passes.

6.    Tai Chi

Tai Chi is an ancient form of Chinese martial arts that works slowly and involves very gentle movements. It doesn’t require any equipment and focuses on relaxing muscles and extending joints. In other words, you’re increasing your muscle strength and flexibility while maintaining minimal stress on your body.  

The benefits of this sport cannot be undermined. It helps with breathing, coordination, and balance. Studies have also shown that it reduces stress and anxiety in older people.

7.    Yoga

Everyone knows yoga is ideal for stretching and improving balance, posture, and flexibility, making it an ideal activity for elderly people. Moreover, the relaxing sensation produced by the various yoga movements and stretches helps reduce stress and improve mental health. Meditation also helps with blood circulation and breathing.

Tips To Ensure Consistency And Avoid Injuries

When starting any form of exercise, one must be sure to be committed and avoid injuries that may prevent consistency. Some of the ways to ensure consistency are as follows:

Get A Physical Exam

Before engaging in any physical exercise, visiting a doctor and carrying out a physical exam is best. This will help assess your physical condition to determine the right workout routine for your safety. This way, you do not overexert yourself by engaging in more physical activities than your body can handle.

Exercise With Friends

Having a partner when working out is recommended for accountability and to make the experience more fun. It’s even better in this era because you can exercise with friends in person, over the phone, or through video calls. This way, you don’t get bored easily and you get to look forward to each session.

Always Warmup and Start Slow

Before and after each workout session, use five minutes to stretch your body and do light cardio activity. Also, make sure to ease yourself into any new routine so your body can become familiar with the movement and you can gain confidence. This will help reduce the risk of injuries and get your body in the groove.

Wrap Up

For good physical health and longevity, elderly ones need to exercise a few hours each week. Consistent sports activity helps keep the body in shape while also improving overall mental well-being.


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