Unstoppable – How to Play Sport for Longer!

How to Play Sport for Longer!

By 2034, boomers (people born between 1946 and 1964), will outnumber children under the age of 18 for the first time in the history of many western countries. They also tend to have smaller families, and be more likely to be single as they grow older. All of which means this particular demographic will have fewer medical professionals and family members to rely on as they age. That’s why it’s so important for boomers to be as fit and healthy as possible as they enter their senior years – and one way to make this happen is to enjoy a sport. There are several ways to do this, and they include the following:

Age matters

If you’re wanting to get sport-fit with a buddy, train with someone in a similar age bracket (and of a similar fitness level, if possible). Sure, it might be fun to work out with your teenage grandson or daughter-in-law, but you’ll inevitably find yourself trying to keep pace with them – and it’s only going to end badly.

Careful competition

By all means, keep competing in your chosen sport if it’s what you enjoy, but make it age-based. Competing against people your own age rather than against those who are younger, will result in fewer injuries and help maintain your confidence and sense of achievement. Check out the New Zealand Master Games for ideas.

Mix it up

If your previously favoured sport is causing you injuries, or you’re simply not looking forward to playing it any more, make a switch to something less demanding. You might want to switch from running to swimming, or from aerobics to yoga. However you do it, be sure to choose something you know you’ll enjoy.

Going solo

Team sport can put a lot of pressure on a player to perform, often stretching them further than is good for their bodies. If this sounds like you, consider taking up an individual sport such as running, aerobics, or rock climbing, where you are more likely to set your own pace.

Take a break

The older we get, the longer our body takes to repair wear and tear in muscles and joints, or to heal injuries. It’s important to factor rest days into your active week, even if you’re not aware of an obvious injury. Trying to be stoic will only delay your recovery further, allowing your fitness to slip as it does so. A rest day doesn’t always mean you need remain totally inactive; it may simply mean you choose a less weight bearing activity such as cycling or swimming on your ‘day off’.

Keep your cool

Those who are aged 65 years or older are less able to regulate their temperature. Sometimes this is due to prescription medications, but it can also be a natural consequence of ageing. When enjoying sport, remember to drink water regularly, and to wear removable layers to help cope with temperature changes.

Eat up!

Eating a healthy diet helps you remain a sports person for longer. It provides you with essential nutrients to help repair body tissue, and helps stave off age-related illnesses.

Sleep soundly

Get enough sleep (turn off the TV and skip screens before your head hits the pillow). A refreshed mind means you are more alert and aware of your surroundings, and less likely to trip or fall. It improves concentration and aids the immune system, all of which helps keep you playing your favourite sport for longer.

Stay sport-ready, and you have every reason to be confident about your future health!