Studies have shown that men (or women) who continue to play sports and exercise in midlife continue to be more active as they get older. The benefits of a team sports session may even outweigh a run on the treadmill or a trip to the gym. Gym workouts boost cardiovascular health whereas sports activities do that and more. Sports like tennis, basketball, and soccer can help improve your hand/eye coordination, fine motor movements, adapting and changing direction, and balance.
The sport you decide to play should be one that you enjoy and can tolerate – if you have bad knees for instance, basketball might not be the best choice for you. It is recommended that you incorporate these team sports with other exercises that help build muscle, core strength, and flexibility like yoga or Pilates type exercise. 20 or 30 minutes a week of this strengthening will help to improve your sports performance as well. Sports can also boost your mental and emotional health. Social interaction, stress reduction, communication, and competition all contribute to a healthier you.
How to Get the Most Benefit from Team Sports:
1. Eat well. Sports activity requires more and better food to fuel yourself.
2. Drink Plenty of Water. Make a habit of being well hydrated. Don’t wait until game day.
3. Be a Buddy. Play with friends. It will help you keep playing and have more fun doing it.
4. Know Your Limits. Don’t play too hard for too long or you risk injury. Take breaks or reduce your time in the game.
You can be a kid again and play team sports – with some modifying of the pace and good preparation, you will reap even more benefits as you age!