It is a common misconception that senior citizens are incapable of playing sports or being physically active. Why do people think that physical activity becomes obsolete with age? Most feel it is dangerous for senior citizens to exercise or play sports due to injuries. But the truth is that sports and exercise have substantial health benefits for them.
Gumtree outlines how sports can positively impact the elderly and seniors:
- Balance: Sports and physical exercise can improve spatial awareness in senior citizens, largely enhancing their physical balance and building muscle mass.
- Mental health: The movement involved in sports and physical activity is closely linked to improved mental health as the brain is activated to release neurotransmitters for better mental balance.
- Muscle mass: Did you know humans begin losing muscle mass as early as 30 years? Thus, regular exercise and sports, especially in senior citizens, can help build and maintain muscle mass. This can also help prevent osteoporosis, arthritis, and other illnesses.
- Heart health: One of the biggest benefits of playing sports is improved cardiovascular health as the heart works harder by expanding and contracting, which can be key in preventing heart disease.
- Immunity: Senior citizens who play sports and exercise have improved immune systems that can fend off germs and bacteria.
So, what are the top sports for senior citizens?
- Walking: Regular walking is an excellent workout for senior citizens as the whole body is involved in the movement, improving joint health and core strength.
- Water sports: Water polo or water aerobics is a low-impact resistance exercise that can help build muscle.
- Martial arts: Tai-chi can improve range of motions in senior citizens, while helping develop agility and hand-eye coordination.
Now that you’ve got the knowledge, it’s time to shop! Head to gumtree.co.za or your Gumtree app (click for Apple & Android) and don’t forget to use your location settings to find local sport and leisure information close to home.