Sports And Seniors: The Health and Wellness Benefits

senior citizen couple embracinf in front of a hillside beach and loving life

Once people reach a certain age, many grow tired of having to stay active all the time. However, this is a common fallacy, as being physically active is just as important to seniors as it is to children. The main benefit of staying fit is, of course, better overall health. This is especially important for seniors whose inactivity can lead to respiratory problems, heart issues, and even premature death. That is why it is important to stay active and take up a sport or two. In today’s world, professional sport may seem scary because of the elite level of fitness needed to participate, but there are some sports that are ideal for seniors. Once you start playing them, you will immediately feel all of the health and fitness benefits that leading an active lifestyle entails.

All Styles Of Dancing

One of the most basic activities you can do is dancing. It just comes naturally and it doesn’t require a high level of fitness. We are not talking about the fashionable Latino dances that require a lot of strength, but of every style of dancing imaginable. Pick out the one that best suits your interests and enroll in a dance class. You will get a chance to stretch out and exercise lightly as there are many dance classes created especially for seniors. This means that you will even make friends at dance classes. To top it all, dancing is also good for mental health, so there is no reason not to try Zumba or aerobics.

Swimming

Another sport that doesn’t require any special skills is swimming. All you need is membership at your local indoor swimming pool and you can enjoy this activity all year round. Swimming is beneficial to health because it doesn’t require a lot of effort to stay buoyant, so you are the one determining how fast and intensive your training is going to be. While swimming, almost all muscle groups are engaged and afterwards you feel as relaxed as if you’d had a massage.

Again, this can be a social activity that you can enjoy with your friends or even sign up to a water aerobics class. Water is great because it provides resistance to any movement, thus increasing the effort muscles must put in to move. Even wading in the shallows of the kiddy pool is considered a great fitness activity.

Golf

While dancing and swimming are not that competitive, golf most definitely is. Unlike other sports of a similar kind, in golf you yourself are the only opponent to beat so you can take things lightly. The technique of golf is mostly comprised of swinging the club and walking through scenic landscapes, which is an ideal leisure activity for seniors. In order to play golf, it is enough to watch a couple of golf training videos and you are ready to hit the green (pun intended). It will be both a pleasant stroll and a relaxing activity for the mind since it is a sport without much mental pressure. Don’t be afraid if you haven’t played golf before, it will prove to be an adventurous undertaking.

Tai-Chi

Another age-friendly sport started off as a Chinese martial art. Nowadays it is more of a form of exercise that has left the Asian continent and is popular worldwide, especially in Western countries as more and more people are taking it up. One reason for this is that pretty much anyone can take part in it. It consists of breathing exercises intended to boost concentration which results in relaxation of both the body and the mind. The Tai-Chi moves seem to flow mildly across, rather than being sudden and violent, which is something definitely not suited for seniors. It improves the body’s posture, general mobility and it is a great exercise for leg muscles. This is all perfect for people who lead a sedentary lifestyle. Having listed all this, no wonder people go to Tai-Chi classes to get rid of stress.

Tennis And Badminton

The final two sports we list here require a bit more strength and stamina. Tennis and badminton require players to run, albeit in a confined space. However, you need not enter the ATP rankings as you could play leisurely with a fellow senior. Hitting the ball with a racket will improve your hand-eye coordination and you will regain the body balance you had in your youth. Once you become experienced and have more practice, you can even speed up the pace of the game, increasing the rally.

All in all, seniors can gain a lot of benefits from taking up any of the aforementioned sports. The main benefits concern health and fitness, but the mental perks are there too. Staying healthy and active should, therefore, be of essential importance for everyone who has reached his or her “third age”.


Author Bio

Victoria is a journalist and a fitness enthusiast. She has a B.Sc. in nutrition and even spent a few years working as a personal trainer. She’s quite passionate about writing and sharing her tips and tricks. When she’s not writing, she tries to squeeze in as much traveling and discovering more inspiration as she can.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *