Staying active is a main priority for many seniors, whether they live independently or in an assisted living retirement community. However, with the onset of age, some of the more physical sports and recreational activities can take a toll on the body. Luckily, there are numerous activities that are easy to pick up anytime and can be enjoyed well into your golden years. Whether you simply need an excuse to enjoy the great outdoors or want to stay fit, consider trying out these five lifetime sports:
1. Bocce ball
According to the World Bocce League, bocce ball has been played for thousands of years, but is only just catching on in the U.S. This ancient activity involves throwing a small ball, known as the pallino, and trying to place larger balls as close to it as possible. What's great about bocce ball is it can really be played on any flat stretch of land, but is traditionally played on slender rectangular courts. The balls are relatively light and games can be played at a relaxed and leisurely pace. For seniors looking for something to do on a sunny afternoon, bocce ball is the perfect activity. Also consider other yard games such as ladder ball and horseshoes.
"Swimming is perfect for seniors because it is low-impact."
Swimming is perfect for seniors because it's a low-impact form of exercise that can still be physically challenging. Whereas running can be hard on your joints, water supports swimmers and prevents excess stress on these areas. What's more, swimming can strengthen muscles and bones and also contributes to good cardiovascular health. If swimming isn't really your thing, consider water aerobics or other aquatic activities that still allow you to spend time exercising in the pool.
Yoga has caught on as a physically, emotionally and spiritually beneficial practice for people of all ages. This activity is particularly great for seniors because it can be adjusted to accommodate each individual's strengths and personal goals. Furthermore, yoga promotes mindfulness and well-being, giving seniors a positive outlet to relax. Similar to swimming, yoga is low-impact, and also can contribute to better flexibility.
With elements of tennis, ping pong and badminton, pickleball is a delightful sport that takes place on a miniscule court. According to the U.S.A. Pickeball Association, this sport is played by seniors around the country in retirement communities due to its social aspects. For those who love tennis but can't quite make it around the court with the same speed and agility as they used to, pickleball is a great change of pace. Pickleball is played on a doubles-sized badminton court with a traditionally wooden paddle and a plastic ball over a low net. With its similarities to other net sports, pickleball is easy to pick up and play.
5. Disc golf
Traditional golf can be an exhausting undertaking. For seniors that love getting out on the links, but don't necessarily want to lug heavy clubs, disc golf is an ideal alternative. In general, disc golf is more social and fast-paced than the original sport. Moreover, you'll only have to carry two or three discs for the entire duration of the game. Lifestyle Change notes that disc golf clubs often have dining facilities and social events, meaning that you'll also have an opportunity to socialize and make new acquaintances. Whether you play nine holes or 18, you're sure to get in a good walk and enjoy some quality time outdoors.