As we humans age, we tend to slow down and become less active over time. However, the consequences of remaining stagnant can have an unhealthy impact on our physical and mental health.
Therefore, it’s important for senior citizens to take part in sports activities that are suitable for their physique to further improve their health. Not only will being active bring advantages to preventing body aches that come with old age, but it also reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and dementia.
Read on to find out about the 7 best sports for elderly people that are the most suited for their physical capabilities.
Golf is a very beneficial sport that makes use of the entire body. It takes place in a large course, so this benefits the elderly as they are able to get some fresh air outdoors while walking from hole to hole.
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A game of golf means a whole workout for your body in a low-impact manner which makes this perfect for senior citizens. By swinging a golf club, you work on your arm strength and core by twisting your body. This improves the body’s strength and flexibility over time.
This not only benefits senior citizens physically but also improves their mental prowess as well. Playing a whole course many times involves you to focus your mind on getting the perfect swing for a hole in one and you will also have to remember which particular club should be used for each hole in the course as they vary in distance and difficulty.
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By keeping alert on all these factors, the elders are able to actively use their brains and this could prevent the onset of dementia. Overall golf is a slow-paced and low impact sport that involves the whole body and can be a good choice of activities for older people.
Bocce Ball can be considered as one of the ideal sports for elderly people. In fact, it’s a popular sport that’s played in many senior centers.
It involves rolling a small ball on to a flat, leveled surface. Each team takes turns rolling larger balls as close as possible to the small ball and the team with the most balls nearest to the small ball wins.
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It involved a low-impact workout that’ll go easy on elderly bodies but sufficient enough to let them be active and get their blood circulation going. It’s easy enough that even those with physical disabilities are able to enjoy the game with a few alterations to the playing field such as the implementation of ramps.
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It also boosts mental alertness as the players will often need to learn new strategies on how to improve their gameplay. Besides that, it’s also beneficial for the elderly as it encourages social interactions with others in exchanging tips and tricks on how to play and encourages healthy competition.
Croquet is a relatively easy and casual sport where just about anyone and everyone can easily pick up, even senior citizens! The aim of the game is to knock a sequence of colored balls through a series of hoops before your opponent does.
There are many variants of the game and you can choose if you want to play strategically or just for fun. It just takes 30 minutes for a game and involves low-impact physical activity which makes it ideal for the elderly.
Croquet is a classic game that makes seniors even more advantageous as some of them may already be familiar and already experienced in the game. As with most activities for older people, it’s a good way for them to socialize and interact with others while enjoying a fun game full of precision and healthy competition.
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Pickleball is a unique mix of badminton, tennis and ping-pong into one and can be played both indoors and outdoors. The reason as to why it’s one of the recommended sports for elderly people is that it is low impact and can be easily be played with or without teams.
The game is similar to tennis and badminton in which players will hit a pickleball that is similar to a smaller whiffle ball with a paddle that is comparable to a larger ping pong paddle. This sport is ideal for seniors who enjoy playing tennis but no longer have the physical stamina or worry over the risk of injuries.
The Pickleball environment is easy to be set up both indoors and outdoors and merely requires some adjustments to existing tennis or badminton courts. This sport encourages healthy but manageable movement and exercises while allowing seniors to interact with one another and form lasting friendships.
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Bowling is a relatively good sport for the elderly as it helps to burn calories, increase metabolism and physical endurance. By playing 3 rounds of bowling, you increase strength in your arms, core and legs giving you a good full-body workout.
It’s a safe sport for elders provided that they take certain precautions into consideration to avoid strained muscles or other minor injuries. First of all, bowling balls come in different weights and an elder should select a proper ball that they can carry throughout the whole game without feeling any additional strain in their muscles.
Moreover, it’s very important for elders to do some warm-up stretches before beginning the game to avoid and unwanted strain or pulled muscles. Proper fitting bowling shoes should also be carefully selected to eliminate the risk of falling.
Bowling is a good activity for older people as it involves having good posture and a practiced stance of balancing your weight which can help a lot in building up bone density.
Swimming is good as both a muscular and cardiovascular workout for the entire body. You end up burning more calories in the water and it trains your lungs to pump in more oxygen to your blood, so it greatly improves your blood circulation.
What makes swimming one of the most ideal activities for older people is that the water takes up about 90% of the body’s weight as you move so it’s extremely low impact. Your joints and bones can move with ease while you tone up your muscles.
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This is especially good for elderly people with arthritis and can be considered therapeutic to their ailment. Besides the much-needed workout, swimming can be stimulating for social interaction as this can be done in community centers among other people who equally love to swim. Thus, it encourages healthy social interaction among senior citizens alongside the physical benefits.
Squash is yet another racket sport that can be done indoors in a relatively smaller court compared to badminton and tennis. The aim for squash is to hit a rubber ball against a wall in such a way that your opponent cannot return the ball, this can be played in teams up to 4 people. Because it involves lots of active movement, it involves the whole body moving in a low-impact exercise.
It’s relatively safer and takes up less energy compared to other racket sports and can significantly reduce the risk of health complications such as diabetes. Besides the physical benefits, elders can also benefit their mental health as it takes a bit of strategy in perfecting just how to hit the ball. Furthermore, because it’s a team sport, older people can enjoy interacting with other players freely.
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