As years pass and you get older, staying active is the key to longevity and quality life. Creating a daily routine of physical activity will keep you feeling young and full of vitality. Even a 15-minute daily stretching routine will greatly improve your fitness level. In addition to increasing your energy levels, you’ll also help alleviate the aches and pains that come with age.
There are plenty of sports seniors can consider that are accessible for their age group. Along with physical endurance, you’ll also achieve more mental clarity.
Let’s review some popular sports for seniors:
Swimming is one of the best sports for endurance. It is a great choice for seniors because of the low impact it has on joints. A routine in the water will increase muscle mass and flexibility, stimulate the cardiovascular system, improve cognitive skills and mental acuity, enhance mood, and reduces the risk of osteoporosis.
The ancient practice of Yoga is perfect for seniors. It combines physical poses, breathing exercises, meditation, and mindfulness. In combination, all these attributes provide more mobility, balancing of the nervous system, and aids in self-discovery. Yoga brings physical and mental wellness together. There are many indisputable benefits of Yoga for seniors including:
- Improves balance and prevents falls.
- Decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Manages diabetes and digestive ailments.
- Improves quality of sleep.
- Manages anxiety and other mental health issues.
- Helps people recover from surgeries and strokes.
- Improves arthritis, inflammation, and pain.
- Helps in grieving process and other major challenges.
Seniors who do Yoga report a higher sense of overall wellbeing. Yoga promotes autonomy and a balanced sense of self. There is a misconception that when doing Yoga you have to reach difficult poses. This is not the case at all. In fact, anyone at any level can do Yoga safely. It is recommended that you choose a knowledgeable instructor that can devote some quality one-on-one time with you and wants to get to know all details of your current physical condition.
The scientific community has assisted the Yoga industry in finding appropriate techniques and poses that are particularly good for seniors. It is important to remember that Yoga poses should never feel uncomfortable or painful. The most important exercise in Yoga is breathing, so if you can get that right, you’ll gain lots of benefits.
Riding a bicycle makes you young again. It is an exciting sport that is very suitable for seniors. Ideally, you’ll combine it with an outdoors setting where you can enjoy the fresh air and a change of scenery. This sport is perfect for getting your heart pumping to improve your cardiovascular health. It is great for knees, arthritis, muscle tone, endurance, mental clarity, and many other benefits.
There are many bicycle models to fit your preference and lifestyle. Beach cruisers are very comfortable and sit upright. Recumbent bikes allow you to sit back in a more comfortable chair while taking the pressure of the upper body. Tricycles are also a great option if you want to have an extra level of balance and support.
This is a sport that requires protective gear. Riding with a helmet, gloves, and other padded protection is a great idea. Even at low speeds, a fall can cause major trauma to the head.
Of course, this activity made our list! Walking is very underestimated. It is one of the best exercises for the mind and body. Being very common amongst seniors is the go-to activity for most of the population. Carrying a walking stick or cane is a great idea, especially for hikes out in the woods. It is a simple activity with profound effects.
Walking outdoors is much better than an indoor treadmill. Connecting with nature, listening to the sounds of birds, and breathing fresh air creates an immediate improvement in a person’s wellbeing.
To make it more interesting each time you walk, select different routes. You may also combine walking with upper body movements, meditation techniques, and other hobbies such as photography.
This can be made into a social activity by finding good walking partners. It is also great to combine this habit with an activity that you use as a meditative practice. Having a dog is one way you can ensure you walk on a daily basis. A small or very gentle dog will keep you free from forceful pulling on the leash that can cause an injury.
Along with walking, dancing is another great way to get on your feet and stay active. It is a favorite amongst seniors because it is much fun and requires mental focus. Learning steps that require memory and physical coordination have been known to help prevent dementia. Dancing and music are great for the soul. This activity keeps people very young. It reduces stress and anxiety, Learning new dance moves improves mental agility along with physical endurance and balance. Like Yoga, it truly is a holistic activity that stimulates a person’s mind, body, and spirit!
Choose A Sport You’re Passionate About
The most important of all is that you choose a sport you completely enjoy. You feel liberated when you spend time doing what you’re most passionate about. Staying in shape should be fun, human beings are meant to frolic. Staying in shape should not be a chore. There are plenty of other sports we didn’t mention here that are appropriate for seniors.
One of the keys is to be sure to establish a regular schedule and get into the weekly habit of engaging in activity almost every day. Walking slowly and effortlessly should be the very least you do on a daily basis. It should be something you look forward to instead of dreading.
Try to have a variety, choosing something new each week is one way to stay interested. Discover new sports and activities that you have never tried before as long as they are safe for you. Know your limits and focus on those sports that you can perform well without straining. Engaging in fun sports will ensure you have a better quality of life during your golden years.