Staying active as we get older is essential for maintaining mobility, a healthy weight, and for staying young at heart. People who get regular physical activity have a reduced risk of illnesses like cancer and heart disease, and are able to stay independent for longer. Getting physical activity doesn't have to mean spending hours at the gym. Sports are a great way to get exercise, and have fun doing it. Here are 10 of the best sports for seniors.
10 of the Best Sports for Seniors
Swimming is fun at any age, but as we get older it is a great way to exercise while reducing impact on the joints. Swimming laps will help improve cardiovascular endurance as well as muscular strength. If lap swimming doesn't appeal to you, you can also join water aerobics classes, or even water sports like aqua volleyball or water polo.
Riding a bicycle is a fantastic way to not only get active, but to also get out and enjoy the world we live in. Easy on your joints, Cycling has been known to provide stress release, it raises the heart rate, strengthens muscles, and promotes healthy cognitive function. Not only is it a wonderful way to stay active, it's fun, and can be enjoyed with friends.
Bowling is a fun social activity with some amazing health benefits. The weight of the ball adds intensity to your movements, and the activity also promotes balance and coordination. The social aspect fosters healthy competition. You can bowl with a couple of friends, or join a league!
4. Bike Riding
Riding your bike has so many healthy benefits, and can be done out doors while you enjoy the scenery, or indoors in inclement weather. Bike riding promotes balance, strengthens the muscles and cardiovascular system, and is a low impact activity on the joints. If you are biking indoors, you can join a spin class, and tailor the intensity to suit your needs. If biking outdoors, a smooth, paved path in a park is a great way to get started.
5. Tennis or Badminton
Court sports like these help promote hand eye coordination. Since you have to move quickly back and forth across the court to follow the ball, your balance is maintained and improved. Court sports can be played indoors or out, and many facilities offer senior leagues that pair you with players at your level.
This is a gentle, fun, and social activity that can be enjoyed by all ages. It is easy to set up right in your own back yard, or it can be played in a park. It's perfect for days when you want a light activity that will get you moving.
This is a game enjoyed by all ages, and many players find that their skill improves as they get older. The act of swinging helps your joints work through a wide range of motion, and if you walk from hole to hole, you will benefit from a cardio vascular activity.
This sport can be played as part of a duo, or a full team. You can organise an informal match, or join a league for a more competitive environment. Volleyball fosters teamwork, social interaction, and it's a lot of fun! Plus it provides a cardiovascular workout, promotes coordination and balance, as well as hand/eye coordination.
Walking is one of the easiest activities to start. It doesn't require anymore than comfortable clothes and good walking shoes, and it can be done anywhere. It is a great cardiovascular activity, and is gentle on the joints. If you feel like a solo walk, you can head out to a park and enjoy nature. Or, you can join a walking group and benefit from the motivation of others.
10. Tai Chi
This is a martial art with a focus on gentle, fluid movements designed to improve overall health and mood. Tai Chi can improve aerobic capacity and muscle strength as well as lower blood pressure, and improve flexibility. It also improves balance and agility which means a reduced risk of falling.
These are just some of the many ways seniors can stay active, and have fun doing it.