Top 3 sports for active seniors

Physical activity has long been recognized as a cornerstone of healthy aging, but some seniors may find it difficult to find an exercise they enjoy. Luckily, there are many options to choose from, with everything from walking and aqua aerobics to cycling and shuffleboard offering considerable benefits. But for retirees who want to add a bit more competition to senior living, sports are also a great way to stay active. Here is a look at some of the best sports for seniors:

Pickleball
Not long ago, the word “pickleball” may have been met with looks of confusion, but now it has spread quickly throughout the senior world, NPR reported. The game, which is a hybrid of tennis, ping-pong and badminton, is a great option for older adults who want to keep their competitive juices flowing. Pickleball actually dates back to the mid-1960s, when Joel Pritchard, a U.S. Congressman from Washington created the game for his whole family to play. Rumor has it that he named it after his dog, Pickles, but that has yet to be confirmed.

Golf
It may seem cliche, but there’s a reason why golf has been a popular retirement activity for decades – it’s well-suited for seniors. While it’s not as hard on the knees and aging joints as other sports, golf still provides health benefits. For instance, golf is often seen as a great way to relieve stress, which can help seniors stave off a host of healthy issues. Golf can also help older adults stay mentally sharp by improving their focus and concentration. Additionally, golfers who walk nine holes using a pull car burn upwards of 718 calories.

Swimming
Much like golf, swimming is a low-impact activity that provides seniors with substantial health benefits. According to ThirdAge.com, one of the biggest advantages of swimming is that it can actually help seniors alleviate symptoms associated with arthritis. Specifically, it can increase the strength and flexibility of muscles and joints, and warm water can also add a soothing element. Experts say that swimming is also a great way for seniors to have balanced cholesterol levels. Rather than just keeping the levels of so-called “bad cholesterol” down, swimming can also play a role in maintaining the proper levels of “good cholesterol,” according to ThirdAge.