In your youth, you were probably running around playing football for hours on end. But as you start to get older, that’s going to be a bit much for you. Your aging body can’t handle the stresses and strains of being thrown around and flattened during a rough game of football. While it might be time to hang up your boots, you’ll still need to get some exercise. In your later years, you’ll start encountering more and more health issues and the best way to combat them is to stay active. If you overstretch yourself then you’ll start doing yourself more harm than good so you have to be careful. It’s also important that your kids see you exercising because it sets a good example for them and encourages good exercise habits in them from a young age. These are some of the health issues that you should be looking out for, and some sports that you can do to reduce the risk.
Heart disease is one of the major risks that increases with age and it’s one of the biggest causes of death. There are plenty of ways that you can reduce the risk of heart disease including cutting high fat and salt foods out of your diet, but the best way to stop it is by exercising. Cardiovascular exercise gives your heart a good workout and keeps it healthy in your old age. The risk of heart attacks and strokes are reduced by around thirty five percent in people that get regular exercise that increases the heart rate.
Type 2 diabetes is usually caused by a combination of bad diet and lack of exercise. High levels of sugar and fat in your diet will significantly increase the risk of developing diabetes so they should be cut out immediately. All of that damage can be undone as long as you exercise regularly. The risk is reduced by around half if you get some regular exercise.
As well as your physical health, doing regular exercise can improve the health of your brain, which is important as you get older because your mental faculties will start to suffer. Depression isn’t something that the older generation tend to consider but it can still affect you. Exercising releases endorphins and increases good feelings by a huge amount. This will improve your overall mood and reduce the risk of developing a depression or anxiety disorder.
Dementia is another worry as you start to get older. It affects a lot of people so it is only natural that you would want to actively combat it. Regular exercise will reduce the chances of developing dementia by around a third.
Cancer is probably the main health concern that people have and, although it is difficult to reduce the risk completely, exercising does make you less likely to contract it. The risk of breast cancer will only go down by about twenty percent but your chance of contracting colon cancer will be halved if you exercise regularly.
Bone health is another problem that is linked to old age. Arthritis tends to affect most people as they get older and it’s difficult to avoid it completely, however, if you exercise your risk of developing problems with your joints is slashed by up to eighty percent.
Falls are one of the most common reasons that older people end up in hospital and it usually happens because their joints are weak. Strengthening your joints through exercise will make it easier for you to get around and make it far less likely that you will have a fall. Stronger bones will also make it much harder for you to break or fracture any of your bones.
Now you know why you need to be exercising, but you have to be a bit cautious when it comes to your sports otherwise you could end up hurting yourself.
Walking isn’t exactly a sport, but it’s a brilliant way to get a bit of extra exercise into your day. You do still need to do some more intensive sports but walking regularly is a good way to stay active with very little effort. Replacing some of your shorter car journeys with walking will add a few hours of light exercise into your day. There are other simple things that you can do like taking the stairs instead of the lift. That will help you to get your heart going and exercise your joints to keep everything well-oiled as you get older.
Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise there is. It’s a great way to get some good cardiovascular exercise that can improve your heart health and fight heart disease and diabetes. It also works pretty much every muscle and joint in your body at once. It might sound like a bit of a heavy workout for somebody older, but the beauty of swimming is that the water takes all of the impact. If you were to work all of the same muscles and joints doing another sport like football or basketball, you would probably damage yourself. But when you’re swimming, you aren’t at risk of that at all. You’ll also be able to exercise for longer periods because you won’t overheat as much in the water.
Golf is probably the most popular sport amongst the older generation. It doesn’t seem like it’s going to be great exercise but we’ve already talked about the benefits of walking, and there’s plenty of walking to be done on the course. It also helps to strengthen the joints in your arms and hands when you swing.The coordination skills involved will also help to keep your mind sharp, which is just as important as your physical health in those later years. Before you start golfing, you need to get yourself a good set of clubs otherwise you won’t get anywhere near the green. A decent all round driver is vital otherwise you’ll spend all day stuck in a sand trap. The most difficult part of the game is putting, so get yourself something like a scotty cameron putter to help you improve your game, or everybody will get fed up of waiting around for you while you miss your shot over and over again.
Rowing isn’t an obvious choice when it comes to easy going sports, but if you do it right, it can really help you to maintain a healthy body. You’d be right in thinking that it’s very tough on the body so diving straight into a heavy workout can be dangerous. Rowing actually puts a lot less stress on your body than running so it’s a far better alternative. When you’re starting out, set the rowing machine to the lowest resistance possible so you don’t overstretch yourself. Once you are finding it very easy to row at this level, increase the resistance gradually. Always ensure that you go up in very small increments so you don’t overexert yourself. It helps to build up most of your muscle groups and improves joint strength. It also lowers your resting heart rate which helps to keep your blood pressure in check.
Running is brilliant cardiovascular exercise but it’s also quite strenuous on your joints. You can get all of the same benefits without any of the damage by cycling instead. The impact is absorbed by the bike rather than your knees. Get yourself a decent road bike and head out. You can inject a bit of extra exercise into your daily routine by replacing short car journeys with cycling instead. It’s also a great way to get out at the weekend and see some new places while getting a bit of exercise at the same time.
Archery isn’t a very cardio intensive sport so it isn’t brilliant for heart health but it will help you no end when it comes to strengthening joints and muscles. The amount of resistance that you’ll feel when drawing a bow is a lot larger than you might think so you’ll see a big increase in upper body strength after a few sessions. Hand eye coordination skills are also a huge part of the sport. It is important to practice them as they deteriorate very rapidly in your later years.
Flexibility is something that you will soon start to lose as you get older. Those stiff joints can make you feel a lot older than you are so you’ll want to do something about it. Yoga is a very good way to improve your flexibility without putting too much strain on your body. There are plenty of simple poses that you can get started with before moving on to something a little more advanced. As well as improving the flexibility of your joints, yoga can help you to improve your mental state as well. The feelings of relaxation that you experience during a yoga session will help you to avoid any feelings of anxiety that you might have.