10 Best Sports and Physical Activities for Older Adults
Aging shouldn’t stop you from exercising, but rather encourage it! Participating in physical activities is just as important as maintaining a healthy diet, especially when you’re older. According to research, physical activity helps reduce the risk of several diseases, including stroke, diabetes, and some types of cancer.
Other health benefits to staying active into retirement age, include:
Boosting your mood
Improving mental health
Encouraging a social life
Increasing blood circulation
If you’re interested in learning new ways to stay fit in your “golden years,” we’ve compiled a list of the top recommended sports and activities for aging adults. Once you find a sport you like and that suits your physical abilities, you can enjoy it for years to come.
Slow and low-impact, golf requires a lot of walking and carrying golf clubs, which naturally gives you a workout. The skill of swinging and angling the club not only helps strengthen your upper body, but also improves balance and hand-eye coordination. If you get tired, there are usually golf carts available to ride for long distances and up hilly courses.
Believe it or not, walking is still great cardio, no matter the speed! It’s the easiest way to get outdoors and get your daily dose of Vitamin D from the sun. Walking early mornings around the neighborhood can be a simple, daily routine. You can also invite a friend to join you as a walking buddy, or even join a walking group.
Croquet is a fun and simple outdoor game you can do right in your backyard. Originating in France, this game involves knocking colored balls with a mallet through hoops or “wickets.” Since it requires at least two people to play, it’s a great idea for couples to do it together and get some fresh air.
Biking or “cycling” is a timeless aerobic exercise for all ages. According to research, cycling helps strengthen your heart, build up your endurance, and improve flexibility. You can do this safe and low-impact workout both outdoors and indoors, and still reap the same health benefits.
When’s the last time you and your friends went out dancing together? It’s a great idea to get your body moving all while having fun. Dancing helps improve your energy levels, balance, and is an enjoyable way to get cardio. There are many different styles, ranging from ballroom to zumba, that are low-impact. So, grab your dancing shoes and make it a regular activity!
The best thing about water is that it reduces gravity, making every movement low-impact and almost weightless. You can easily get a full-body workout in water without it being hard on your joints and bones. If you like to swim, many local fitness centers and community pools offer water aerobics and other aquafit classes for certain age groups.
You don’t have to swim to enjoy the water. Kayaking is another fun sport that helps strengthen your arms and core all while relaxing and enjoying the scenery. It also is an exercise that allows people with disabilities, such as those in wheelchairs, participate and spend time out in the water.
Relaxing and stress-reducing, yoga consists of slow and controlled stretches while listening to your breathing. All of the stretches have modified versions, making it age-friendly and safe. Yoga is said to help improve your balance, flexibility, and core strength.
9. Tai Chi
Have you heard of Tai Chi? It’s an ancient Chinese martial art involving a series of slow, gentle movements with deep breathing. This mind-body exercise is soft on muscles and joints and easy to learn! Also, studies show that Tai Chi helps relieve arthritis pain, increases flexibility, and improves balance.
Last but not least, the sport of pickleball has actually become increasingly popular over the last few years. You can think of it as a hybrid between ping pong, badminton, and tennis. In this sport, you use paddles (instead of racquets) and the court is smaller than a tennis one.
Since there’s less ground to cover and doesn’t require overhand hitting, it’s great for all ages to play. Check out this video to learn the rules of the game!
Remember, always check with your physician before starting any new fitness activity. In any case your muscles and joints still get sore after your workout routines, seeing a chiropractor can help. From assisted stretches to spinal adjustments, you’ll feel good as new and ready to go back to your active self!
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DISCLAIMER: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be a substitute for health advice from a qualified physician. Please consult your doctor for recommendations in regards to your physical condition.