Engaging in sports is beneficial at any age: it helps to maintain physical and mental health, thus improving and prolonging life. Engaging in regular physical activity over long periods of time helps to prevent many diseases, including high blood pressure, stroke, and diabetes.
Engaging in sports regularly helps us keep in shape and looking great. But there are also many other important reasons to stay fit: stronger muscles and bones with respect to a sedentary person; a more efficient cardio-respiratory tract and greater stamina.
Thanks to a greater awareness of the benefits of constant physical activity, the number of people with gym memberships is on the rise. It’s also increasingly common to see people jogging or cycling outdoors.
An overview of people over 65 and sports
Despite the increasing awareness among young people of the benefits offered by sports, the situation among the elderly is lagging: just 15% of people over 65 engage in sports more than once a week.
Most elderly people go out for a pleasant walk around their homes almost daily. Some dedicate themselves to outdoor activities like gardening. This is already a good start: in fact, a little bit of daily movement provides for the following benefits:
- Increased blood flow to the brain
- Improved respiratory function
- Numerous heart benefits, including better blood circulation to the body’s tissues
- Walking is also good for the bones, as it helps them to maintain better density over time, without becoming fragile
All of these benefits are even further increased if the elderly person dedicates him/herself to a regular sports activity, in consultation with a physician, and monitored by a good instructor.
Engaging in regular physical activity is the most effective anti-ageing factor for maintaining physical and mental health over time. For people over 65, it is highly recommended to engage in a regular sports activity: now let’s take a look at the exercises most highly recommended for people in their golden years:
- Fit walking: walking briskly outdoors. Recommended for everyone as a way to keep in shape, it’s good for the cardio-respiratory system, increases bone density, and tones the muscles.
- Water aerobics: particularly recommended for those who are advised to engage in physical activity, but without overloading the hips and knees due to back pain, obesity or joint problems in the legs. Improves blood circulation and promotes muscular and psychological relaxation.
- Pilates: with its smooth, controlled, and harmonious movements, this gentle form of exercise is particularly recommended for elderly people as a way to tone up the abdominal, lumbar and dorsal muscles.
A wide range of benefits
As we have seen, there are various physical activities suitable for people over 65. All of them play the fundamental physical role of preventing numerous diseases.
However, the psychological aspect should not be overlooked: in fact, sports also play a social function, and help to fight loneliness among the elderly.
It is also important to consider the level of independence achieved by elderly people with fit bodies: being capable of carrying your shopping bags on your own is a goal that not all people over 65 are able to achieve!
So don’t wait: if you want to achieve excellent results throughout each phase of your life, now’s the time to take up a sport.