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Iceni Magazine | August 16, 2022

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Two Sports That Are Perfect For Keeping Older People Active

Two Sports That Are Perfect For Keeping Older People Active

Keeping fit and healthy is essential for everyone. Older people are not separate from this.

In fact, the necessity to keep fit and healthy is more important for older people than many other age groups.

People over the age of 65 tend to spend around 10 hours a day lying down or sitting. Unfortunately, this inactivity can lead to several health problems that you can easily avoid.

Inactive older people may face aches and pains when they are completing simple tasks, like walking around the area they live in or even moving around the house.

Those who do manage to keep active find their health improves. For example, you tend to have a lower risk of heart disease, dementia, type 2 diabetes, and strokes.

The NHS recommends that older people are active in some way every day. This doesn’t have to be intense activity – it can just be light movement.

However, at least two days a week, people over 65 should aim to complete activities that focus on strength, balance, and flexibility.

Over the rest of the week, over 65s should complete around 150 minutes of moderate activity.

Knowing these are the guidelines, you may wonder what types of exercise are suitable for older people to fulfill these goals.

Swimming

swimming

Swimming is a worthwhile activity for older people. Water is weight-bearing, so you can complete a sport without worrying about the impact on your joints – especially your knees.

Swimming can help you build muscle mass because of the resistance the water provides. Your muscles have to work a lot harder in the pool because water is around 800 times more dense than air.

Your heart and lungs have to work harder to pump oxygen around your body. This leads to better cardiovascular health, decreasing your risk of heart disease.

Local pools often have classes for older people, meaning swimming can also help your social life. Courses can be offered in a range of areas, from aqua aerobics to water polo.

Walking football

Older people might find themselves looking back on their youth and missing the mobility they had. Luckily, there’s no need to miss it. There are plenty of sports you may have enjoyed as a young person that can be updated for older people.

Walking football is one of those sports. From its beginnings in 2011, walking football has really taken off amongst the older population.

It works a lot like it’s title suggests: it’s (usually) five-a-side football, but instead of running, you walk. If the referee catches anyone running, the other team is allowed a free-kick.

Even though you aren’t running, walking football is excellent for your health. Your legs are moving – perfect for a cardiovascular workout.

The best thing about walking football is that it’s fun. Yes, staying home and catching up on the rugby union schedule is entertaining, but walking football is just as fun and will help you keep fit.


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