Sports and Aging
Aging is a battle that we all are going to lose to the calendar year by year. I decided years ago that I was not going to let getting older be my excuse for accepting some of the hereditary diseases and illnesses that run in my family. This year, I’m turning the BIG 50! Yes, I said it. I’ll be 50 years old this July and I am determined to make it a memorable celebration for living a half century.
As an ex-baseball player, from the time I was 6 years old and into my mid-30's, I played organized and competitive baseball or softball. In doing so, I had to stay in excellent to good shape in order to play at a high level. Playing a sport of some sort was always part of my everyday life but when I stopped playing, I lost that adrenaline and excitement that competitive sports offers. Studies show that men who play sports and exercise in midlife continue to be more active as they get older, compared with men at the same age who not exercise or play sports. Gym workouts boost cardiovascular health but can become boring if that’s not really you're thing. To make things more fun, playing a sport can add excitement, competition and more. A sport can do so by requiring you to act and react at a moment's notice, sports like tennis, basketball, and softball can help you improve your hand eye coordination, fine motor movements, adapting and changing direction, and balance.
Find a sport that you enjoy, that way look forward to playing it again and again. If it’s enjoyable then the benefits will be sustainable. Now that you have picked up a new sport, I feel it's a good move to do a 30 to 45 minutes workout once or twice a week integrating other exercises that build muscle, core strength, and flexibility. You will improve your game overall and cut your risk of injury on the court or field. Finally, sports can boost your mental and emotional health by providing an outlet for any of the stress and worries that you may deal with, the game time can be therapeutic.
Sports may have fallen by the wayside but its can still be rewarding as we age. The exercise, healthy competition, and the opportunity to socialize are reasons to consider finding a sport as an adult. Enjoy!!!