Team Sports for Older People
Many people head into retirement to put their feet up whilst for others it means having the opportunity to pursue some of their hobbies which they’ve not had much time to pursue previously.
However there are other folk who not only prefer to be active but who still want to remain competitive in their chosen sport which might very well be as part of a team.
Changes from YesteryearLong gone are the days when the only team sports you were likely to find participants above the age of 60 were things which were often associated with your local pub such as darts, dominoes, skittles, shove ha’penny and crown green bowling.
Today, medical advancements along with people being more educated about diet and fitness have meant that people who are well beyond retirement age are fitter than ever and still want to pursue more active sports in much a similar fashion to those in their teens, 20s and 30s. Therefore, the choice of team sports activities is limitless and most sports clubs will welcome participants of all ages. In fact, many of them will positively encourage an ‘open to all ages’ policy as it enhances the diversity of their members and a more ‘mature’ member can often pass on very useful skills and knowledge to those less experienced.
The Benefits of Participating in Team SportsAny form of sport that you pursue in your later years has to be good for your health but the added benefit of playing in a team offers you a greater opportunity to socialise and to make new friends. It’s well known that having a wide, varied social circle helps to keep you healthier and happier as you get older and, unlike some forms of exercise which can become more of a chore and a test of endurance if you’re regularly doing them solo, a team sport allows you to have fun at the same time which can often take your mind off the physical exertions you might be putting in. Simultaneously, if your team sport is physically demanding, it’ll often involve short intense bursts of running which will do wonders for your cardiovascular health.
Any Risks?Providing you’re in good physical health, there should be no additional risks to you participating in team sports just because you’re getting on in years. Depending on the intensity of the sport in terms of the level of fitness required as well as whether or not it’s a contact sport where you could be tackled by an opponent, there may be some added risk in that your bones, joints, muscles and ligaments may be more susceptible to damage or injury than, say, a person who’s 30 or so years younger simply due to natural ageing and wear and tear.
However, you’re the person most likely to have a good idea of what kind of physical condition you are in and, if you’re not sure whether or not it’s a good idea to be competing in team sports at your age, then it’s useful to speak to your GP who will be able to give you a medical check-up and advise you as to whether or not your choice of activity is suitable for you. Your GP may also be able to advise you on any precautions to take and things you might need to watch out for.
In general, however, team sports; be they more sedate or intense are a good habit to get into when you’re retired. Not only will they give you an interest but you’re likely to make some new friends and have a lot of fun too.