Sport is for the young. That’s a sentiment expressed far too often. It should be replaced with this – sport is for everyone. For those in their 50s, 60s, and beyond, it can be easy to just accept that as your years advance, your opportunities for healthy living and fun sporting activities diminish.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the enjoyable sporting options available for those heading into retirement age, or for those who are already there.
We’ll start with team games because it’s the type of sport most people associate with being younger. But you can still play team games, and there are some great options out there. All you need to do is involve yourself in groups and sports which are appropriate for your health and fitness level.
These can include:
Whether it’s ten pin bowling or on a green, this is a great sporting option for those worried about high-impact activities like running. There’s no high-impact here, all that’s required is good coordination, and that can be learned at any age. While bowling can be enjoyed individually, it really comes alive when played as part of a team. There are many leagues and social clubs around the country where you can enjoy bowling, so research your local community and you’re bound to find one near to you.
Tennis is another great option for those that are 50+, but table tennis is an even better one. While standard tennis requires a lot of running around, table tennis does not require the same level of athleticism. It can improve your reaction speed and does work up a sweat when played at a fast tempo. Like bowling, table tennis can be played as part of a team, with doubles tournaments proving popular.
Another great team game, and while it requires a level of mobility, there are leagues for all ages and fitness levels. Volleyball encourages team play and apart from the odd jump occasionally, it is actually less strenuous on bones when compared to running or football.
If you are specifically worried about high impact sports, then there are some enjoyable low-impact options which can be great for your health and sense of well being. These include:
If you have a competitive itch you need to scratch but have issues with your joints or back, then race walking could be for you. It simply involves fast-paced walking, but under race conditions, so you’ll be looking to either beat other competitors or record your personal best times at events. Some running clubs have a walking programme in place where you can meet fellow walkers and even make new friends.
For some, this is the king of sports for those at retirement age and above. Swimming has been shown time and time again to be an excellent way to stay fit while protecting your bones and joints from impact. Swimming clubs are popular, but if you don’t want to take part in them then you can happily track your own progress by visiting a local swimming pool.
One of my favourites. Cycling is a fantastic way to see the countryside and city landscapes while getting fit. It’s low-impact, yet you can build up your cardio just as well as through running. Cycling clubs bring cyclists of all experience levels together and even take part in competitive races. Obviously, there are the initial costs of cycling equipment, but after that, it’s a relatively inexpensive hobby and can be enjoyed on single paths or on the roads, though care should be taken.
We’ll end on a classic. Golf is often a firm favourite among those 40 and up. It requires skill, usually involves a social side, and is very easy on the legs. In fact, many golf courses will provide golf buggies for those unable to walk between the holes. For those who can, golf provides countless hours of solid exercise and enjoyment in the outdoors. It can also be played competitively, singles or as a team, and so it is a great all-round option.
Sports are about enjoyment, feeling great, and, for some, competition. There’s no reason you need to give any of this up just because you have a few more miles on the clock. Today, people are playing sports at all ages, so why get left behind? Enjoy yourself!