Sports for Seniors: Ideas To Keep Active

Keeping active is important for the body no matter what age you are, but we know that finding practical sports to play as a senior adult can be challenging. No need to be overwhelmed; we’ve put together a great guide for you with a ton of ideas to keep you moving.


Don’t let your age be an issue while searching for sports to be a part of. Think of the more classic sports to jump into, like volleyball, swimming, and even walking. There are also plenty of sports outside of the box like water aerobics, dancing, hiking, and more!


We believe the options are seemingly endless when it comes to sports ideas for seniors, so we wanted to tell you all about them. Read this for inspiration as you think about what sport to play next in order to keep yourself healthy and energized.

How Much Activity Is Recommended for Seniors?

Before we jump right into all the good stuff, this is an important question to address. After all, you should know how much activity is good for you and your lifestyle before going full speed. This may be obvious, but with a lot of things, some activity is going to be better for you than doing nothing at all. However, you will see more and more health benefits the more active you become, which is wonderful.


If you have chronic illnesses or other factors that prevent you from getting a higher level of activity per week, it’s safe to say you can do as much activity as is comfortable and safe for your situation.


For others, a saying that is great to live by is to move more and sit less. We’ve looked at a chart of recommended activities for healthy seniors who have no health conditions and have put together a simple list for you to go by.


  • Brisk walking for 30 minutes a day, five times a week along with muscle strengthening two or more times a week
  • Jogging or running for 75 minutes each week along with muscle strengthening two or more times a week
  • An equal amount of brisk walks and jogging two or more times a week along with muscle strengthening two or more times a week

You can choose any of these examples based on how fit you are and what you feel is a comfortable level of intensity. Speaking of which, let’s find out the differences between light, moderate, and vigorous activity.

Light Activity

With light activity, you won’t feel out of breath. This level of intensity usually involves movement like slow walks and even moving around the house to clean lightly. Light activity is a good thing to make sure you do in between longer periods of sitting.

Moderate activity

Moderate activity is going to raise your heart rate a little bit, unlike what we explained above. With moderate activity, you’ll usually be able to carry on a conversation while moving, but won’t be able to sing. You may also notice your body temperature rising and your breathing getting a little faster, which are both to be expected.


Moderate activity looks like going on a walk, hopping on a cycling machine, doing some water aerobics, or playing tennis.

Vigorous Activity

The most intense of the three, vigorous activity is for those who have a good background of fitness already. This can look like fitting in 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week instead of 150 minutes of moderate activity per week.


You don’t have to get crazy when thinking of how to get your vigorous workout in. In fact, you can turn a moderate sport into a more intense workout. For example, take a cycling day and make it more intense by pedaling faster or biking uphill.


Other great examples of a vigorous workout would be jogging or running, uphill hiking, fast dancing, and quick swimming.

Why Are Sports Important for Seniors?

Now that that’s out of the way, why should it matter anyway? We’ve all known that some level of activity is healthy for any individual, no matter what age they are. As the older crowd, staying active is seemingly more important for a number of reasons.


For seniors, staying active can improve and keep your physical and mental state healthy and happy, which in turn can allow you to remain as independent as possible as you continue to age. Along with that, there are other benefits to staying fit. Take a look.


  • Disease Prevention: It has been studied that regular fitness could help you prevent diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. The immunity of seniors is often more compromised, and keeping active could improve your immune function.
  • Better Mental Health: At any age, movement and fitness typically have a positive impact on mental health. You may also start to see improvements in your sleeping patterns, which could improve any issues with things such as insomnia.
  • Staying Social: It’s easy to invite a friend or two along for your walk or other activity, which in part keeps you social and having fun with your community. This can help with the overall mood and will make sports more fun.
  • Decreased Fall Risks: As you stay active, you’ll remain more strong and agile, which also improves coordination. All of these things can decrease your risk of falling and help your body recover quickly if you do fall.

How To Stay Motivated

We get it. Life seems to stay busy, and it can be tiring to think of adding one more thing to your full plate. If fitness isn’t already a part of your regular routine, it could feel overwhelming to think about fitting it in. Trust us, once you do find the time and a routine that fits your lifestyle, playing sports and staying even a little bit more active will leave you feeling brighter in spirit.


A great way to stay motivated is to find activities and sports that you’re actually interested in and that feel fun to you. There are so many different sports and varieties of things to do, that you’re sure to find one that you’re excited about.


We know very well that it can be hard to fit exercise into our schedules. You just have to choose something that fits into your day! Find activities that you already have to do, like walking the dog or cleaning around the house. Staying active doesn’t have to be intense and long.


Lastly, making sports a social engagement is an awesome way to keep things fun and motivating. If your workout includes people you love and who keep things entertaining, then you’re good to go!

Types of Sports

We’ve hit the ground running with all of this info on sports, but we couldn’t leave you without going into a few of our favorite activities. We’ve got six different sports to share with you that we really enjoy and think you will too.


Read a little bit more to get the full scoop on these popular sports for seniors.


Pickleball

This is an up and coming sport for people of any age! People love it because it combines elements of tennis, ping pong, and badminton. If you enjoy any of those sports, you’ll love pickleball. You can play this game with groups of two or four people on a mini tennis court. 

Swimming

If you’ve clicked on this post from our website, then it’s a no-brainer that swimming is a favorite of ours. Whether that’s swimming in the ocean or at a pool, we think this is the best way to stay fit.


Swimming is a great exercise for all of your muscles, including your heart. It’s also a great sport for those who struggle with arthritis, as it’s easy on your joints while also strengthening the muscles that support those joints.


Throw on the perfect swimsuit for active swimming and take your friends along to create a relaxing, social workout. We can’t wait for you to feel comfortable and confident as you keep up with your mental and physical health in a suit that keeps up with you!

Walking

An obvious and easy choice, walking is a great activity to fit into virtually any schedule. You don’t have to walk a long distance and you don’t have to walk fast. This is the easiest form of exercise that will get your blood flowing and increase cardiovascular health, which can help prevent strokes.


Walking does wonders for the mind, too. Don’t you feel more clear-headed and happy after a leisurely stroll in the sun? This is another great activity to do with friends or family, as it gives you a great opportunity to chat and catch up.

Cycling

Cycling is becoming more and more popular, and for good reason. Cycling will give you the bit of exercise you need for the day as it keeps you in shape and is also a great form of transportation. If you aren’t into jogging, cycling is the perfect option. Your joints will thank you if you choose this sport.


As we mentioned, cycling is not only a great health choice but is also an amazing alternative to driving a car. If you’re able to cycle instead, you’ll be saving money on fuel while reducing the number of emissions released into the air.

Golf

Are you a fan of hitting the greens and playing this quiet sport? Golf is great for those who want to burn some calories and work their brain a little bit. Golfing incorporates walking and muscle movement, which is why you’ll burn those extra calories while enjoying the game itself.


Grab your clubs and prepare to work your flexibility, balance, and core strength. Who would’ve thought that this easy-going sport could be so fun and beneficial? You’ll use a lot of mental energy as you think about each hole, and this brainpower can help combat the development of dementia.

Squash

Have you heard of this fun sport? Squash is an indoor racket sport, and when you play it, you can be confident that you’re getting a full-body workout. If you’re unfamiliar with this game and how to play it, it involves hitting a hollow rubber ball against four walls of a court.


We would consider this sport more on the vigorous side, as you’ll be running and reaching, and could burn around 500 calories in just half an hour. Your joints will definitely get a good workout.

Walking Football

Just like it sounds, walking football is quite a more gentle version of real football. This sport involves the same kinds of rules as regular football, but the biggest rule is that there is absolutely no running. Perfect for those who used to love football but haven’t been able to play, walking football gives you a great cardiovascular workout while keeping it easy on your joints.

Get Moving

By now, we hope you’ve been convinced that sports for seniors can be extremely fun and helpful to your health. It’s no new knowledge that we’ve got to keep up with our physical and mental health, but we know that it can be a challenge to add something else to your schedule.


There are so many easy ways to get moving, and quite a few of them can easily include your friends and family. No need to feel unmotivated for your next sports session! Grab your friends and pick a sport that interests you the most.


Thanks for coming along with us on a journey to get ideas and be inspired about all the fun sports you can play at the age you are.







Sources:


How Much Physical Activity Do Older Adults Need? | CDC


7 Sport and Fitness Activities for Older People | Lifeline24


5 Benefits of Exercise for Seniors and Aging Adults | The GreenFields


Staying Motivated to Exercise: Tips for Older Adults | National Institute on Aging