Think you’re too old to play sports? You’re not. Here are three reasons why competing in sport is healthy for older adults.
Other than competing in AAU swimming as a youth, it wasn’t until I was 25 that I participated in a competitive event. It was always a desire within me, but I didn’t realize it until I was older. As the younger sibling of an All-American high-school cross-country and track star, I thought I might have some talent as well. Luckily, as an adult, I answered the voice within, and decided to pursue the sport of triathlon. This was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life. If no longer have vigor and motivation for physical fitness, sign-up for a sport that you love or would like to try. The benefits of doing so are many. Here are three great reasons to spark your competitive drive:
1. It will improve your confidence and self-esteem. There’s nothing like trying something new when you need a boost in confidence, particularly when it involves physical activity. If you think that you have to be in your teens or 20s to participate in sport, you don’t. The numbers of Master’s competitors have increased dramatically over the past decade. Feeling the accomplishment of making gains in your fitness level will make you feel good about yourself, and those around you will notice a difference.
2. It will preserve your youth and vitality. Physical exercise is the best youth-serum available, and it doesn’t have to cost you a cent! When we engage in sports, we get in the zone, and forget we are even exercising. It reduces stress, and literally slows down the aging process. Competing in sports is a fun way to stay active, and it is play-time for adults. Reacquainting yourself with the spontaneity and creativity that are born out of “play” is easy to do when you compete in sports.
3. Increases intelligence. Kinesthetic and spatial awareness (how you move in relationship to the things or people around you) are very important, particularly as we age. It is important to keep these tools sharp. Intellect is only one type of intelligence. Being able to make spontaneous and strategic moves with our bodies requires a different kind of intelligence. These skills can become invaluable as we age, increase physical awareness and prevent common injuries. Don’t waste another minute! Been thinking of signing up for a Master’s Program at your local YMCA? Miss the days when you could play basketball for hours? Bored with your current workout routine? Sign up for that 5k you’ve been talking about doing and you will reap the many benefits of staying competitive in sport.
Have Fun & Get Moving,
Staff Writer: Holly Lowe Jones