Sport in old age – this is how seniors stay fit for a long time
In March 2018, Australian swimmer George Corones stunned crowds and judges at the Queensland Trials with his technique and speed. Why? Corones will soon be 100 years old and only started training when he was 80 years old. So it’s never too late to keep your body fit and healthy. Doctors and scientists repeatedly emphasize how important regular exercise is for seniors. According to a German proverb that is more relevant today than it used to be. After all, many leisure activities take place while sitting and the convenience of technology means that we move less and less. Not everyone has to do competitive sports like George Corones, but sport is fun and good for people of all ages.
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Which sports are suitable for seniors?
In general, it can be said that every type of sport is also suitable for older people. Individual mobility, health conditions and previous sporting activities are more important than age. Anyone who has played sports all their life knows exactly what they can expect and has certainly found their sport for themselves. Seniors who are just starting out, however, will find many sports that don’t demand too much of them at first. Support in the search for the right sport can be obtained, for example, from the health insurance companies (they offer various health courses), in sports clubs and in fitness clubs, which are increasingly geared towards the 60+ target group. However, a first step is already taken if you walk more often or use the stairs instead of the elevator. Regardless of which sport you choose: the goals are to strengthen the muscles, stimulate the cardiovascular system and improve the metabolism.
Strengthen the muscles, the circulation and the heart through sport
For many seniors it is important to strengthen the muscles, the heart and the circulatory system through sporting activities without putting too much strain on the joints. Sports such as swimming, Nordic walking and moderate walking are suitable for this. A better sense of balance and strengthening of the deep muscles are achieved, for example, through gymnastics, yoga or Pilates achieved. Ideally, courses are attended for this, in which a trainer pays attention to the correct movement sequences and breathing techniques. On the other hand, many seniors feel comfortable with club sports such as tennis, football or handball, because playing sports together with others not only ensures a healthy body, but also keeps the mind fit. Those who do sports in a club are also less lonely. This is an essential factor, especially in old age, because loneliness can make you ill, according to numerous psychologists and general practitioners.
Seniors should keep this in mind when exercising
Anyone who feels healthy and has no restricted mobility can usually practice any sport that is fun. Seniors who feel insecure are best advised to consult their family doctor before choosing a sport. This applies in particular to people who already have previous illnesses, such as cardiac arrhythmia, joint problems or regularly high blood pressure. For many sports, it is also important to have the right equipment: Nordic walking, jogging and walking all require suitable footwear that supports the foot well and relieves the joints. Special functional clothing for sports is also mostly made of breathable materials, so that excessive sweating or cooling down is prevented at gymnastics.