10 Sports for Senior Citizens to Play and their Lifelong Benefits

Getting older doesn’t mean you start living a sedate, lackluster and lethargic life – on the contrary, it is more solid a reason to involve yourself in the things that you love. Whether you like painting, reading, swimming or any other activity, pursuing it enthusiastically in the second half of your life is of utmost importance. We all know the virtues of being fit and active in order to maintain or even improve our physical and mental health. Competitive sports are so thrilling, aren’t they? You might have indulged in a sport or two back in the day,when you were younger and fitter. But why shy away from it when you turn 60? On the occasion of India’s National Sports Day (Rashtriya Khel Divas), in memory of the hockey legend Dhyan Chand, here is our elaborate list of physical activities, games and outdoor sports that we believe are great for senior citizens. Disclaimer: You might just get hooked on to a fit and healthy lifestyle! 

10 sports and outdoor recreational activities for senior citizens:


  1. Cycling

Rather than looking at cycling as a sport or a workout, treat this as your 30 minutes of freedom. Imagine the fresh breeze on your face, the sound of birds chirping in the morning and the sheer joy of riding a bicycle (like you did when you rode it for the first time). Cycling is a huge stressbusterand it also increases your heart rate, makes your muscles strong and improves balance. Seniority tip: There are hundreds of options available when it comes to choosing a bicycle. If your health doesn’t permit you to cycle outdoors, you could even consider getting an exercise bike at your residence. 

  1. Swimming

Water activities help reduce the impact on your joints and hence, swimming is one of the toprecommended physical activities for senior citizens. Apart from benefitting your cardiovascular health and muscle strength, swimming also provides a lot of relaxation since the water gently massages the entire body. Seniority tip: If you know how to swim, make it a habit to hit the pool at least thrice a week. And if you don’t, it is never too late to get your first swimming lesson. Trust us, you will love every bit of it! 

  1. Water Aerobics

Activities in water are excellent for the elderly because the body feels lighter under water, making it easy for you to move. Overweight persons or those suffering from joint pains can benefit a great deal from aquatic activities. Seniority tip: Water aerobics is more interesting when you have good company. Get your partner or friends to accompany you for this daily dose of fun. 

  1. Golf

Even though it is not considered a ‘mass’ sport in India, we are sure there are quite a few golf lovers reading this article. The wide range of motion that is involved in swinging the golf club and the mental focus that you need, together make it a fantastic physical activity for seniors. The lush green golf course can also provide you with ample scope for walking, peace of mind and fresh air. Seniority tip: If a full-fledged golf course is inaccessible to you, you could think about setting up a miniature one in your own backyard! 

  1. Tennis

Channel your inner Federer! Whether or not you have been exposed to the game in your early years, it is never toolate to start (or resume) playing tennis. Apart from delivering an exhaustive, full-body workout, tennis is also great for seniors because it is an endurance sport that helps improve your cognitive, coordination and proprioceptive abilities. Seniority tip: Find a nearby club or like-minded tennis enthusiasts and make it a habit to play the game at least twice a week. You will begin noticing a substantial improvement in your motor reflexes. 

  1. Badminton

Reflexes, hand-eye coordination, strength, flexibility, andstamina – if these are the things that you are looking to build up while playing a sport, badminton is the answer. An added advantage of badminton is that you can play it at any time of the day without worrying about the sun or rainssince it is typically played indoors. Seniority tip: Find a badminton court or club around your residence and begin playing doubles before you are confident enough of your ability to play singles. 

  1. Table Tennis

Another racquet sport that aids hand-eye coordination, quick reflexes and delivers a calorie-burning workout, ping-pong is played indoors and you can play it at any time of the day, any season of the year. Seniority tip: Find a ping-pong player who is better than you are, so you can learn from them and are challenged to up your game. 

  1. Bowling

Bowling is fun, no matter what your age! The game can give seniors a good workout along with enhanced balance and coordination,since the entire body is put into motion while delivering the ball. Seniority tip: Once in a month, plan a day out at the bowling alley with your family. Make sure you pick up balls that you are comfortable with (in terms of weight). 

  1. Frisbee

Everyone knows how to throw a flying disc, but landing it in the intended spot or catching it to perfection is the fun bit! All you need is a partner (or more) and some open space to hone your frisbee throwing and catching skills. Seniority tip: You can make the game more interesting by setting up targets to aim at or even indulge in a game of Ultimate Frisbee. Here are a few handy throwing techniques: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJK1xUeFtig 

  1. Yoga

The entire world is hooked on to the concept of yoga – an idea that originated right here, in India. Out of the numerous benefits of practicing yoga, the effect that it has on your posture, balance, flexibility andstability is perhaps the most significant one. And even though yoga is known to be a low-impact activity, you can consult an expert to gauge what the best asanas are for seniors. Seniority tip: Pair up your yoga asanas with a session of meditation and put all your mental and physical worries to rest!   While we know ‘walking’ is not really a sport or recreational activity, several studies claim that walking for 10 to 30 minutes every day can significantly improve your health. The World Health Organization (WHO) advocates 10,000 steps a day for a healthy life. There are many benefits ofwalking – improved blood circulation, increased cardiovascular capacity, weight loss, bone strengthening, etc. Seniority tip: Find a park, hillock, jogging track or clean street surrounded by trees in your vicinity and take a walk early in the morning amidst nature. Want more options? Dancing, Pilates, Tai-Chi, squash, Zumba… the list is endless! The choice is yours – take your pick(s) and reignite that love for sport and fitness on this National Sports Day. Disclaimer: The tips provided in this article are not meant for senior citizens with severe illnesses or extremely sensitive health conditions. It is best to consult your physicianor visit a sports doctor to understand what physical activities are best suited for your body.     To receive more engaging updates from us on a daily basis, subscribe to our WhatsApp channel: https://bit.ly/2mxgGRk