Did you know that less than one third of adults over 60 exercise regularly? This is a worrying statistic because, as we all know, too little exercise can contribute towards many health issues. Therefore, it's particularly important to stay active over 60, since age can often make us more prone to developing new medical conditions.
8 Sports to Keep You Active Over 60
With hundreds of different ways to stay active, there is bound to be something for everybody. Whether you're a seasoned gym bunny looking for an adrenaline hit, or a couch potato who wants to get moving, we have some recommendations for you. We're going to take you through our top 8 sports and fitness activities suitable for older people of all abilities.
1 - Pilates
Pilates is great for people of all ages because you can set the intensity yourself. It's particularly good for those over the age of 60 because it's less strenuous on the joints than other activities. What's more, you can do pilates at home or in a group exercise class. If you're not 100% sure what Pilates involves, here's an explanation from the NHS:
"Pilates aims to strengthen the body in an even way, with particular emphasis on core strength to improve general fitness and well-being. Pilates exercises are done on a mat or using special equipment, such as the Reformer, the Cadillac and Wunda Chair. With its system of pulleys and springs, handles and straps, the apparatus can provide either resistance or support, depending on your needs." - NHS
Pilates is popular among older people because it doesn't require any weight-bearing movements, so there is a relatively low risk of injury. It's also great for improving mobility and balance as well as strengthening the core muscles.
2 - Swimming
Swimming is the perfect sport to try out if you're over 60 and love the water! Not only is swimming gentle on joints, it's also easy for beginners while being able to challenge even the more experienced swimmers.
Swimming is a great full-body workout which really gets the heart pumping. Cardio workouts improve stamina and also strengthen the heart and lungs. Cardio workouts are proven to be the most effective type of exercise and burn the most calories. So, if weight-loss is your goal, give swimming a try.
You can check out this website to find your nearest local pool.
3 - Walking
Walking is the perfect gateway exercise. If you're worried that your fitness levels won't let you keep up with an exercise class or team sport, then just put your best foot forward and start walking!
It's also perfect for those who love the outdoors and seeing the landscape. If you don't fancy going out for long walks on your own, try doing it with friends or even join a local walking club!
4 - Cycling
Cycling is another amazing activity that gets the cardiovascular system working hard! Depending on the intensity of cycling and the amount of time you spend doing it, cyclists can burn some serious calories and build stamina quickly.
Cycling is also great for building your muscle strength. Perhaps if you're looking to increase your exercise levels, consider replacing short car journeys with bike rides. Not only will your body thank you, the planet will thank you too!
5 - Badminton
Badminton is great fun for people of all ages and a wonderful way to stay active over 60. There are clubs and societies throughout the country that anyone can join - even beginners.
Badminton gives you a full-body workout whilst improving your balance and co-ordination. It also works the mind, because it gets you thinking about the next move to make and what your opponent is going to do next. Therefore, badminton is a great option for those looking to strengthen their brain as well as their body.
6 - Tai Chi
This gentle form of exercise can improve balance and help to prevent falls, similarly to pilates. It involves a mixture of deep breathing and smooth, flowing movements. Tai chi can help to reduce stress while improving balance, posture and mobility.
Tai Chi is a great low-impact exercise that is enjoyed by people of all ages.
7 - Golf
Next up: golf. This is another perfect sport that involves lots of walking to keep you active over 60! People of all ages can play golf, although it is generally popular among older people. With more than 2,000 golf courses in the UK alone, you won't have to travel far if you want to give this sport a try.
Even if you've never played before, why not look into playing a few rounds at a local club? You'll be surprised how much exercise you get just by walking from hole to hole.
8 - Tennis
Tennis is one of the UK's favourite sports, particularly in the summertime, with more than 750,000 people playing more than twice a month.
Besides a great workout, tennis offers many additional benefits. It can help you speed up your reaction times (which naturally slow with age). What's more, tennis can be a great social opportunity. Playing a singles or doubles match with friends or relatives is a great way to connect with the people around you.
Want to Keep Reading?
If you'd like to know more about health, exercise and activities for the over 60s, why not check out our other blogs such as Retirement 101 - The Top Fun Things To Keep You Occupied or Eating Healthily To Meet Your Body's Needs.
Careline - Here to Help
It's important to consult a doctor before starting a new exercise regime, especially if you have any medical conditions or disabilities.
If you're worried about your health and fitness, now might be a good time to consider a Careline alarm. This life-saving system helps thousands of people live safely and independently in their homes. A Careline alarm can give you and your loved ones peace of mind that help is always on-hand.
For more information, read our Careline Alarm Guide or call us on 0800 101 3333 today. Alternatively, you can order your new Careline alarm online. With free next-day delivery, you'll have peace of mind in no time.
Editor's Note: This article was updated on 12/08/20.