Popular activities for older adults to socialize, have fun, and stay healthy.
Staying active through exercise and organized sports helps to build community connections while also benefiting your health and having fun while you’re at it. So, what are some fun sports options for seniors? To maximize the health benefits while remaining injury-free, consider those that offer moderate aerobic activity and a range of strength conditioning moves that activate all the major muscle groups.
Here are five exercises and sports for seniors that can keep you fit while being kind to your bones, joints, and heart:
- Brisk walking
- Strength training
- Tai Chi or yoga
Want to learn more about why these exercises are ideal for older adults? Keep reading.
One of the most popular sports for seniors is swimming, and for good reason. Thanks to the buoyancy of water, aquatic exercise takes stress off of your joints, making it ideal for many older adults, including those with arthritis. Overall, swimming provides a fantastic full-body workout, with benefits for your heart, muscles, and bones. There are a wide variety of strokes and water activities to try, whether you’re interested in joining water aerobics classes or swimming laps solo.
Try these swimming exercises for seniors next time you hit the pool.
Bicycling is a wonderfully effective workout. It gets the heart rate going, you can set your own pace, and it’s easy on the joints. But before you start pedaling, visit a professional for a bike fitto ensure you have the correct size, design, and features to allow you to ride with proper technique. Avoid models that make you hunch over too much or put your knees at a dangerous angle. A bike fitter can measure these aspects and also determine the right seat width to keep you sitting comfortably. Be sure to find a helmet that fits properly as well.
Check out the basics of biking and bike safety for boomers here.
3. Brisk walking
Regular quick-paced walking has a myriad of health benefits, from your heart to your muscles. There’s a reason it’s another one of the most commonly recommended activities for seniors! The beauty of walking is that it’s simple yet offers a lot of variety – you can take a lap around your neighborhood, join a social group, walk around the course while playing golf, or hit the trails.
In whatever form you choose, try to make walking a daily habit to help lower blood pressure, maintain aerobic capacity, and prevent disease. You can even kick it up a notch with Nordic walking. The special walking poles allow you to turn a walk into a full-body workout by engaging your upper body along with your legs.
Learn how walking 6,000 steps per day can help with knee pain here.
4. Strength training
Incorporating weight and resistance strength training into your exercise routine is a great choice on multiple levels. It’s one of the best things you can do for your bones – increasing bone density can stave off osteoporosis – and has a multitude of other benefits. Time reportsthat weight training can be an effective remedy for metabolic conditions like Type 2 diabetes and a potential antidote to inflammation. However, be cautious and work with a personal trainer to ensure proper form that can help you prevent injury.
5. Tai Chi or yoga
For flexibility, it’s hard to beat the low-impact, muscle-engaging ancient arts. Tai Chiand yoga both rely on movements and poses that also fine-tune balance, improve strength and endurance, increase aerobic capacity, and reduce stress, resulting in benefits for both your body and your mind.
Discover the benefits of yoga and poses for older adults here.
These are just a few options for effective exercises and sports for seniors. As always, consult a doctor or personal trainer before embarking on a new exercise regimen. For more articles on senior living and independence, visit our blog today.
Interested in also exercising your mind? Check out these fun activities to keep your brain sharp here.