Health & Fitness

Playing Sport in Older Age

Old Age Sport

Many people who enjoy playing sport and watching sport, follow the big-name professional players. These players are forced to retire from the professional game quite early in life, especially in the most physically demanding of sports, such as football and tennis. Other sports allow professional players to continue at the top level well into their 50’s, such as golf but for recreational sports players, you should not be dictated by what the professionals are doing and continue to play in older age.

The difference between playing sport professionally and for recreation is huge and there is no comparison between them. Therefore, you should not use the retirement age of professional athletes as a guide. Instead, you should be looking at what sports are being offered at your local leisure centre or sports hall, some of which will be geared towards older people.

A great example of this is walking football. This is a sport which has increased in popularity over recent years and can be enjoyed by people well into their 60’s, male and female. With no running involved, it allows older players to still play the game they love, without the risk of injury.

Swimming is another great sport to enjoy for older people. You can join a class and meet like-minded people while participating in an aqua-fit class or simply swim a few lengths to get some exercise. Swimming is a relaxing activity and is kind to ageing bones and joints.

Many tennis clubs will offer a senior league and this is a great way to continue playing competitive tennis into old age, against people of the same fitness and quality. In fact, if you want to remain a competitive sports person into old age, joining a senior tennis league is one of the best options available.

Golf has always been considered a good sport for people in older life and is perfect for those who would like to get out and about but find walking a little boring. Many people believe golf to be a slow and not very active sport, however, even young players can step off the golf course feeling tired after playing 18 holes. Golf is not only good in terms of walking but it helps to keep other joints in the body in good working order, such as the shoulders, arms and hips.

However, not everyone in later life is blessed with the ability to take part in sports such as tennis, swimming or golf because their movement is restricted. Although a lack of movement can prevent you from playing some sports, it should not stop you from enjoying others, good examples of which are lawn bowls and petanque. Both are slow paced sports, involving the throwing of a ball and provide a gentle form of exercise and a great way to get out and socialise with people. There are many bowling and petanque leagues in operation and teams are always on the look-out for new players.

Whatever your age and mobility, there are some fun and interesting sports available to play. If you feel capable of participating, whatever age you may be, then get stuck in and enjoy playing sports in older age.

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