The winter months in Louisiana are mild, which means you don’t have to cozy up on the couch all season long. In fact, now is the perfect time to get out and about with friends to try something new. Might we suggest picking up a sport? Whether you have a history of sports and athletic pursuits or not, it’s never too late to move your body in a different way. Looking for inspiration? We’ve pulled together a list of sports for retired adults that are accessible to beginners and beyond.
We already know from research that moving our bodies throughout the day can lead to a decreased risk for physical and mental decline as we age. Movement can also increase flexibility, muscle memory and balance, helping to reduce the risk of falling as well as the risk of chronic disease or pain.
Sports can offer retired adults a new opportunity to move their bodies with intention. Sports are typically played socially, even if the sport is individual, which adds to the social health of participants. Finally, sports are typically scheduled, which means you are more likely to not miss a practice or game due to that accountability.
While pickleball has officially been around since 1965, this sport has gained traction and enjoyed renewed popularity over the past few years thanks, in part, to the pandemic. Pickleball can be played individually or in teams, with athletes using a paddle to hit the ball over a low net.
You can purchase pickleball equipment for less than $30 and most community parks departments offer pickleball instruction or leagues. It’s a great way to get outside and get moving. Even better, lots of people are just starting their pickleball career so you’ll be among other beginners.
A timeless classic, tennis offers retired adults the opportunity to get a full-body workout as well as brain exercise. You’ll be using hand-eye coordination as well as working on balance as you shift positions to return the ball.
Check out your local tennis club to find an instructor if you haven’t played before or if you’re feeling rusty. You can also bring a racket and ball to a local court for a pick-up game with some new friends.
Heading to your local indoor or outdoor pool to swim laps provides excellent exercise. It’s a great combination of cardiovascular activity as well as resistance training. However, have you ever considered joining an adult swim team?
Check for information about a Master’s swim team at your pool or parks department. Most teams have group practices as well as options to compete at local meets. You’ll swim in your own age group and might come out of a race with a medal.
Ballroom dancing is one of the best forms of cognitive exercise, as it combines memorizing steps with physical movement. Even if you feel you have two left feet, the right instruction can do wonders for your steps and your confidence.
Look for classes that are designed for retired adults, and for studios that offer a competition option so that you can take your dance moves to center stage!
Staying physically and socially active are two ways to improve overall wellness as we age, and sports is a fun way to check both of those boxes. At The Glen, we offer amenities and opportunities that can get you plugged into your inner athlete, including bocce courts, group fitness instruction and even a swimming pool. We’d love to answer any questions you might have; contact us today!