Staying physically fit as you age gives you the health benefits of feeling energized, maintaining strength and mobility, and reducing the risk of injury, like preventing falls. There are so many sporting activities that will help you stay active – and some may speak to what you like to do more than others. When looking for the right kind of physical activity for you, it’s important to consider how you like to exercise. Do you like taking a group class or would you rather have a sport that’s also a social activity so you can talk with your friends? Do you like friendly competition or an activity that doesn’t keep score? Once you find the sports best fit for you, you’ll have options to exercise in different ways and have fun while you exercise. Check out these best sports for seniors for inspiration to get moving and feel fit. 1. Swimming Swimming is a cardiovascular workout that can improve heart rate, relieve pressure from joints, and benefit your mental health. When you swim, your brain releases chemicals that help you feel good and build resilience to stress. If you’ve had a joint injury, swimming may help you in your recovery. If you love being in the pool, but prefer exercise involving a group, you can do water aerobics. This is a fun and interactive way to use the pool to stay fit. “Residents love to use our indoor, heated saltwater pool for all kinds of activities–we see a lot of participation in aquacise classes. Fitness classes like yoga and strength training are also very popular.” 2. Pickleball Pickleball is a sport that combines elements of tennis and ping pong. It’s great for older adults because you play with a wiffle ball on a small court. You can change your game from friendly competition to keeping the ball in play for as long as possible. While you’re rallying with your partner, you both can use skill to try to see how long you can hit the ball to each other–or you can play a traditional game. No matter what, pickleball has a social factor. You can play with one other person or play in teams of two, meaning you’ll always have someone to converse with on and off the court. 3. Golf Golfing is a fantastic sport option for older adults. You can improve your balance, and walking ability by playing golf regularly. You can also engage your brain by keeping track of the score and deciding which club you need to make the next shot. Whether you’re a beginner golfer or want to step up your game, check out these golfing tips for older adults. 4. Yoga Yoga is a full body workout that can build strength and relieve stress. Focusing on intentionally breathing and moving the body will help your balance. If you think this may not be for you because of moving up and down from the mat, you can modify the exercise by doing chair yoga. You’ll still get the workout you want and have a chair for support. 5. Walking Sports You can modify many popular sports that usually implement fast paced running to walking. Playing sports like walking basketball or walking soccer is a great way to combine activity and fun, whether you’re reconnecting with a sport you’ve always loved or you’re trying something new. There’s no limit to converting sports you love into walking sports. You may even start a league or regular pick-up games with your friends and whoever wants to play. There are many residents of the Overlook who love walking around our expansive campus every day! If you’d rather an alternative to a sport, walking is a great form of exercise on its own. You don’t have to wait for a class, learn rules or technique, or gather enough people to walk. Whether you prefer walking alone or with a group, walking can be as intense or gentle as you want. Walking groups can help you establish a schedule that will help you move regularly. This is also an opportunity for socialization – you walk, talk, and don’t even realize how many steps you’ve taken. 6. Strength Training You may like a gym regimen where you visit the weight room multiple times a week. Strength training can help you isolate muscle groups and do specific exercises to strengthen them. Older adults who build muscle mass help stay mobile and independent later in life. The best part about strength training is that you can elect to participate in classes, have a weight-lifting buddy to help you stay accountable and motivated, or do a solo workout. All options are available no matter what you prefer or what kind of workout you’re in the mood for that day. 7. Tai Chi Tai Chi is a low impact option if you want to learn a martial art. This workout uses gentle movement, and breathing techniques and can be modified with a chair, much like yoga. Not only can tai chi help you increase your strength and balance, it can also help your brain. Studies show that seniors who did 30 minutes to an hour of tai chi three times a week for about three months had positive impacts on cognitive function. When you participate in tai chi, you’ll learn the traditional Chinese terms for movements and postures. You’ll be able to track your progress as you get more familiar with these terms and what they mean. Over time, you’ll also likely notice a positive change in your flexibility, balance, and strength. Due to its gentle nature, you could participate in tai chi for the rest of your life. 8. Croquet Sometimes, you don’t want to be in a gym or class setting–you just want to get outdoors and into the fresh air. Croquet is the perfect lawn game where you can move at your own pace. Much like golf, the goal of Croquet is to use your mallet to hit the ball through the hoop. The Overlook Fitness Center Benefits All Seniors The Overlook is a 55+ community where older adults can lead an active lifestyle. One of The Overlook’s amenities is the Fitness Center, which includes a pool, a calendar full of exercise classes, and a gym with plenty of equipment. In addition to the pool and gym in the Fitness Center, The Overlook also provides the following offerings to residents: Pickleball court Dog park Walking and cross-country ski trails Billiards While residents enjoy the Fitness Center, non-residents aged 50 and older can also work out at The Overlook. If you’re looking to get more active, come try The Overlook’s fitness center, and take a tour of our beautiful community.