The term sports is not limited to only young individuals, senior adults have equal rights to enjoy cleats and leisure time hang-ups. Age cannot restrict any individual from stopping physical activities and becoming idle and ready for continuous hospital visits.
Have you ever heard the proverb, “A healthy body always carries a healthy mind”? It is true for all of you including seniors equally. Recent research has concluded that sports initiate multipoint type physical activity, which is very beneficial, especially for seniors.
Therefore sports for seniors can be a great idea to enhance mobility, and flexibility of body muscles, better health of body and mind, improved emotional health, and social activities. These benefits of sports are observed in the majority of older people.
Fun and games should be a vital part of your lives and if you do that with your parents, it becomes golden memory for both of you. No one denies the importance of sports for all ages but for older people it is medicine for healthy living.
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Importance of Sports for Seniors:
Sports is the physical activity of the body and brain and it is vital in maintaining the physical, mental, and emotional health of seniors. It is not easy to stay moving in old age therefore a lot of motivation is needed to initiate physical activity in seniors.
Various research studies have highlighted the importance of physical sports to reduce the risk of heart diseases and improve muscle strength, and cognitive and coordination responses. Therefore, for the motivation of seniors, different competitive sports for seniors should be arranged, and prizes and distinctions for motivation.
Risk Factors While Selecting Sports for Seniors:
All types of sports are not safe for seniors but any game is fair that is within the mobility capacity of seniors. A few risk factors must be kept in mind while arranging sports for seniors.
Ø Fear of Falling:
Most seniors only rely on wheelchairs when they age. It is safe to some extent but aging can’t restrict you from staying immobilized. Therefore sports for seniors can be arranged at a safe place where immediate help can be taken in the case of falling.
There is no doubt that with age, bones become fragile and muscles lose their strength but you can still move and do sports activities with certain precautionary measures such as head-to-foot safety gadgets.
Falling in old age can make you bedridden permanently in the case of fracture and can lead to functional dependence in the case of head injury therefore the selection of sports games, places of games, and gatherings should be personalized to seniors’ mobility capacity.
Ø Fear of Fracture:
Fear of bone breakage and loss is very common in seniors because it takes a few seconds to break the fragile bones of older people and years to rejoin. With age, bones become weak in both men and women but in women, this phenomenon is more evident.
After menopause, the estrogen level in the blood is decreased therefore it interferes with the mineral density balance making bones less strong. Thus women should take extra precautionary measures while selecting the type of sports and physical activity as they age.
Top Sports for Seniors:
Outside physical activities are great for seniors but if you want to do at home as indoor sports for seniors then you should have some assistant gadgets at home. Seniors can choose any game to break the sweat and make their health better with physical sports.
It is necessary to tailor the right sports game for seniors according to their abilities with lesser impact and more socialization. Few sports can be suitable for seniors depending on their personal choices and capabilities.
Walking is a very easy game and it does not require any tools or machines. It is very pleasurable to go for a walk with your favorite person to blow out negativity and maintain physical activity. Walking is among the top best sports for seniors.
It is an easy sport for seniors that helps to make bones strong, improves heart health, enhances mental health, and makes them social. Race walking is another motivation for seniors as a competitive sport for senior if their physical health permits them to do so.
Swimming is one of the popular and best sports for seniors that has a very low impact due to the natural resistance of water and buoyancy of water. Swimming is a common activity of adults and as you age you can continue it until your physical condition permits.
Swimming has the medical benefits of improved muscle lean mass, flexibility, balance maintenance, and light aerobic lung activity. Seniors with mobility issues, arthritis, and musculoskeletal disorders can also enjoy swimming to maintain a healthy life.
Yoga is a versatile sport that combines physical, mental, and emotional health at the same point to meditate and do physical practices of different levels. It improves strength, reduces fear of falling, reduces mental stress, and improves balance. It is one of the most efficient indoor sports for seniors.
Croquet is another excellent outdoor sport for seniors that you should not miss in old age because it helps to maintain hand-to-eye balance, improves problem-solving grey cell activity, and flexibility, and provides little mobility.
5. Tai Chi:
Thai chi is an indoor sport for seniors and it can also be done outside as a competitive sport for seniors in the groups. It is best sports for seniors to push them toward physical activity to improve muscle health, heart health, physical state, and flexibility.
It is a fun sport for seniors just like ping ball or badminton can become competitive sports for seniors in the form of teams.
Dancing is full body exercise and is the best sport for seniors to relax, improve moods, and blood circulation, and maintain balance. It is an indoor sport for seniors and can be a great source of enjoyment for all ages.
8. Walking Soccer:
It is a great sport for seniors to combine both social and physical health condition improvements.
In a nutshell, it is your responsibility to motivate and arrange sports for seniors to give them a physically active and healthy life.
Why physical activity is essential for seniors?
Physical activity helps to slow down many health problems and improves muscle strength.
Which type of exercise is good for seniors?
Both indoor and outdoor exercises are good for seniors and it depends on their capacity to mobilize.
What will happen if seniors don’t take part in sports and activities?
Lack of physical activities in seniors can immobilize them and lead to the development of symptoms earlier.
How to engage seniors in sports and activities?
Competitive sports for seniors should be organized to motivate them to take part in physical activities. Outdoor physical exercises in the form of teams are pleasurable for seniors.
Do you think every senior takes part in physical exercise?
Only 20-30 % of seniors take part in physical exercise worldwide while 30-40 % of seniors do exercise occasionally.