It’s crucial to participate regularly in sports and fitness activities at any age. Naturally, staying active becomes more crucial as we age if we want to keep in shape and be healthy.
According to the NHS, many persons over 65 spend about 10 hours every day sitting or lying down. Many elderly people are suffering from major health issues as a result of this lack of activity. Reduced mobility brought on by inactivity might result in aches and pains when performing routine tasks like walking to the store. Conversely, those who maintain an active lifestyle have a lower chance of dementia, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
In this post, we’ll first take a look at the NHS’s official sport and fitness recommendations. We’ll later include our top 7 sports and exercise options for seniors.
NHS Guidelines for Sport and Fitness
Those over 65 should strive to engage in physical activity each day, according to the NHS. The official advice for adults aged 19 to 64 can be found here, however for the time being, we’ll concentrate on older adults.
The NHS suggests a variety of exercises for best fitness and health. Older persons should concentrate on exercises that increase strength, balance, and flexibility at least two days a week. Over the rest of the week, you should complete at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity. If you currently exercise regularly, you can substitute 75 minutes of vigorous activity, or a mix of moderate and vigorous exercise.
No matter your level of fitness, you should attempt to spend less time sitting down.
WHAT IS LIGHT ACTIVITY?
Mild exercise is unlikely to significantly increase your heart rate or cause you to feel out of breath. Nonetheless, it is advisable to take short breaks from prolonged sitting and engage in modest exercise.
Cleaning and dusting the house, going for slow walks, and moving around the house are some examples of light activity (getting up to make a cup of tea, for example).
Keep in mind that any exercise, no matter how mild or gentle, is preferable to sitting still.
WHAT IS MODERATE INTENSITY EXERCISE?
If you can still carry on a conversation but not sing, that activity probably qualifies as “moderate intensity,” according to the NHS. In contrast to mild exercise, moderate intensity exercise often causes a small increase in heart rate. Also possible are feelings of warmth and a quickening of respiration.
Some instances of moderate aerobic exercise include Cycling, Volleyball, Walking, Water Aerobics, Double Tennis, etc.
WHAT IS VIGOROUS INTENSITY EXERCISE?
Instead of 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise, you could aim for 75 minutes of strenuous aerobic activity per week if you are already fairly active.
Certain moderate exercises can simply be become intense by increasing their intensity. Cycling, for instance, is typically considered a moderate intensity activity, however cycling quickly or uphill would be considered vigorous.
Here are some instances of intense exercise i.e. Singles tennis, Aerobics, Jogging/running, Swimming fast, Hiking uphill, Energetic dancing
If you would prefer some diversity in your sport and fitness program, you may take part in a mix of moderate and vigorous aerobic activity each week. As an illustration
Let’s consider the many activities we can engage in to reach those goals now that we’ve talked about the official sport and fitness recommendations from the NHS.
Swimming gives the body a comprehensive exercise. It enhances both physical and cardiovascular fitness, but may also be an enjoyable social exercise.
Due to the resistance provided by the water, swimming helps you burn a lot of calories and gain greater muscle mass. Water has about 800 times greater density than air. Your heart and lungs must work harder to pump oxygen throughout the body because your muscles must exert themselves considerably more vigorously in the water. You’re improving your cardiovascular health by doing this work.
Swimming is a great kind of exercise, especially for people with arthritis. This is due to the fact that 90% of your body weight may be supported by water. Hence, swimming puts less stress on your joints than jogging does.
The national governing organization for cycling, British Cycling, estimates that more than two million individuals currently pedal at least three times each week across the nation. Bike riding is a wonderful method to stay healthy and lower your chance of developing chronic diseases. It’s also a convenient way to get to work or the store.
Biking has less of an impact on your joints, especially the knees, and burns more calories than jogging. This is so that they are under less stress while cycling. Cycling is a great outdoor activity that works your entire body, keeps all your joints working, and can even help you lose weight.
Cycling for at least 150 minutes a week will enhance your total cardiovascular fitness, as we know from the NHS recommendations. You can join one of the many bicycle groups spread out across the nation; these can help you meet new people and increase your social circle, which can help you overcome loneliness.
Cycling has health advantages as well as financial advantages. Instead of using your car’s gas or paying for a bus or cab, you can use your bike as a mode of transportation. Also, fewer vehicles on the road benefit the environment by emitting less hazardous gases.
3. Walking Football
Perhaps you played football competitively when you were younger but haven’t felt up to it lately? So, you’ll be delighted to discover that walking football has truly taken off since its introduction in 2011. The older generation may find this milder form of the sport more appealing.
For people over 50 who might have thought their playing days were gone, walking football was created. The rules are similar to that of a typical five-a-side game except of course for the most essential rule: NO RUNNING. Every player who is caught sprinting by the referee will give the opposing team a free kick.
You can enjoy a unique variation of the lovely game by playing walking football. Despite the ban on running, keeping your legs active throughout a solid cardiovascular workout is still beneficial. Most importantly, walking football allows you to workout without worrying about overdoing it and endangering your health.
Squash is a racquet sport played indoors that works the entire body hard. Participants try to hit a hollow rubber ball against the court’s four walls in such a way that the opposition is unable to get the ball back.
With a half-hour of play, you can burn 500 calories on average. Your joints will all get a terrific workout because you’ll be running and grabbing the ball. Participating in a racquet sport like squash can lower your risk of developing diseases like type 2 diabetes.
Squash is a two- or four-player game, making it a fun activity to do with friends. If your neighborhood gym or recreation center has a squash court, it would be a good idea to use it to meet new people who share your interests.
Golf is often perceived as a very passive, slow sport. You might be surprised to hear that golf provides a lot of fitness benefits, though. According to a recent study, men golfers who played nine holes while carrying their bags burned an average of 721 calories. A round of golf also helps you get some fresh air and gives your brain a good mental workout.
Golf is played on a sizable course, so getting to the club will require a lot of walking. As most courses are not flat, you will have to walk uphill to get to the next hole. Walking is good for the body, but playing golf is even better.
A game can help you gain flexibility, balance, and core strength while simultaneously using your muscles. You are gaining power in your arms and core muscles while you swing the golf club. As you age, your body can benefit greatly from this type of action. Your muscles will also work out as you move along if you are carrying or hauling your golf clubs.
Moreover, golf stimulates the brain. To make the proper shot at the appropriate time, one needs to be focused and have good hand-eye coordination. While playing golf, your brain is working hard as you memorize each hole and determine which club to use.This is a very useful ability in the fight against dementia.
The simplest workout to incorporate into your everyday regimen is walking. Walking can help circulate blood throughout your body while putting minimal stress on your heart and lungs. Stroke risk can be decreased by taking care of the circulatory system.
Moreover, walking can improve the general health of your heart and help control excessive blood pressure. Walking can undoubtedly assist you in shedding extra pounds and burning calories, as it does with all sorts of exercise.
It has been demonstrated that walking can assist elevate mood and enhance mental wellness. There is nothing better than taking a leisurely stroll in the countryside to relax and lift your spirits. Your social life will benefit from taking a stroll with pals, and there are many walking clubs all throughout the nation.
7. Nordic Walking
Nordic Walking can be for you if you’re searching for something a little more challenging than usual strolling. With specially made walking poles, this activity gives your entire body a workout.
The poles let you harness the strength of the upper body to move you ahead while you walk. With improving your posture and stride, Nordic Walking can help you burn up to 46% more calories than conventional walking.
Similar to conventional walking, there are organizations around the nation with teachers on hand to assist you master the appropriate form.
Always check with your doctor before beginning a new sport or fitness endeavor. Start out slowly and steadily. Instead of beginning too forcefully and hurting yourself, it is preferable to gradually increase your fitness.
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