As you age, you have to be careful about which physical activities you do. Weakening muscles and problematic joints means you can only engage in low-impact sports activities.
Luckily, there are plenty of low-impact sports that you can enjoy safely while still boosting your fitness and overall health. Here are the best ones.
If you haven’t already taken up swimming, get to it. It’s one of the best and safest sports activities for your aging joints and muscles.
It’s also great for seniors with mobility problems resulting from arthritis or some other health condition. Additionally, doctors recommend it for those who are susceptible to heat stroke and exhaustion while doing other kinds of activities like walking or cycling.
To get the most out of the pool, swim for at least an hour 2-3 times a week. In addition to swimming, you can also try water aerobics or even aqua yoga.
Some of the biggest benefits of swimming include increased muscle strength, improved mobility, better flexibility and improved cardiovascular health.
It’s also a great way to maintain a healthy weight.
If you are looking for an intensive but low-impact cardio activity, cycling is an excellent choice. It builds your leg and arm muscles and keeps your joints healthy.
It’s a good way to lose weight and keep your heart in tip top shape.
One other advantage of cycling is that you get to enjoy the outdoors and meet people. This is essential for your overall wellness.
If you struggle to ride a bike, I recommend getting an electric bike or e-bike. These bikes have a motor and battery that complement your pedalling.
You can turn on the motor when going uphill and turn it off when going downhill and on flat paths.
If you cannot cycle outdoors for some reason, a good alternative is to join a spin class. You get the same health and fitness benefits of outdoor cycling and you can also enjoy it with friends.
3. Tennis and Badminton
If you still feel fit enough to try something a bit more intensive, I suggest a regular game of tennis or badminton.
Make sure you can handle all the running and hitting involved. If you have a health condition, clear with your doctor first before hitting the court.
In addition to making your muscles stronger and keeping your heart fit, tennis and badminton help you refine your hand-eye coordination.
There’s also the thrill of being outdoors with a friend which is in itself a big plus for your health.
If you are looking for an indoor sports activity, this is a great choice. It is not as intensive as long tennis but still provides plenty of fitness and health benefits.
While it’s a tad slower than court tennis, it’s still fast enough for your heart health. It’s also a good cardio activity for those who want to lose some weight.
Golf has limited fitness benefits (it’s mostly great for your joints and arm muscles) but is an excellent way to socialize and enjoy the outdoors.
I recommend buying golf clubs for seniors. They will make the game much less stressful on your joints and muscles.
Features like a higher loft, lightweight graphite shaft and increased flex help you maintain speed, power and drive distance even as your muscles get weaker.
Bowling is one of the best social sports for seniors. Sure, lifting and throwing the bowling ball is good for your arm muscles. But the biggest benefit is the opportunity to interact with other people.
Look for a community bowling centre near you and visit it as often as you can.
7. Walking football
Normal football is out of the question when you grow older. The running, headers and tackles are not just exhausting but dangerous too.
If you still want to enjoy football, check out if there is a walking football team or centre near your home.
The game is targeted at seniors over the age of 50. There’s no running, only walking. There’s also no tackles or headers.
Here’s a quick video explaining how the game works.