Sometimes even in the summer, it is nice to relax and have some senior living indoor fun. There are a variety of indoor sports that seniors enjoy. All of these also keep them in great physical condition, help with endurance and flexibility and in many cases, improve their social life!
Which indoor sports are most suitable for seniors?
Ping pong or table tennis is a sport that can be enjoyed at any age, even if the senior is disabled or in a retirement home. Playing table tennis is a great way to stimulate the brain and promote quick thinking while improving hand to eye coordination. It is low risk and will keep seniors fit and flexible. Playing ping pong or table tennis can increase agility, flexibility, leg, arm, and core strength without overtaxing their joints.
Playing darts is a popular senior sport and can improve hand to eye coordination due to the high amount of accuracy and precision involved. Playing darts is not just for people who want to be competitive, it is also an event seniors do just for fun with their friends! Joining a local dart league can expand a senior’s social network. It’s a great way to meet new people! Concentration skills will improve and since playing darts is relaxing, it reduces stress.
Let’s really get physical! How about…….
Yoga is an excellent way to stay active and lower stress levels. It can have a number of benefits for seniors, from healthy bones to flexibility to anxiety relief. Yoga is not only safe for seniors, but also keeps the mind and body in good health. Yoga offers strength training because you use the weight of your own body in many of the postures. Unlike regular strength training, you’re not adding any weight. The gentle stretching of yoga poses can help you develop greater flexibility. This flexibility can ensure that you maintain a good range of motion as you get older. Yoga is not only safe for those with osteoporosis, but it can also be effective in preventing and slowing bone density loss.
Swimming is one exercise that is often recommended for seniors, especially to strengthen muscles. It has many benefits. The buoyancy of the water provides a cushion for movement. Our bodies have about the same density as water, which prevents stress to the joints since the water becomes a support.
If a senior suffers from a disease such as osteoarthritis where the cartilage wears down between the joints and causes pain, swimming can be the easiest exercise for them to do. Since swimming takes the pressure off the joints, it is one activity that they can still participate in without aggravating their condition.
You will find many health improvements as a result of participating in swimming regularly.
Here is a list of some of the benefits:
- Improved cardiovascular system
- Improved flexibility
- Greater muscle tone
- Better posture
- Improved balance
- Less muscle tension
- Lower risk of osteoporosis
If a senior goes to a public pool they will meet other people there that they can interact with. This can be important if they do not get out of their home on a regular basis. If you have a senior family member, try to encourage them to participate in water exercises or swimming. Many facilities have water aerobics programs for seniors where they can meet other people their age.
Don’t forget, precautions need to be taken to protect some seniors from the hazards that come with swimming!
- Discourage the senior from swimming if it has not been at least two hours since they have eaten.
- Warn them not to swim if they feel groggy or dizzy. Some medications can cause disorientation or other side effects.
- Encourage them to only swim when someone else is around.
A caregiver can also help seniors with getting in and out of the pool and walking with them on wet, slippery surfaces.
More ideas on indoor physical activities – Exercise Classes and Fitness Clubs
Exercise classes help seniors stay active while improving and maintaining their balance, strength and mobility.
Research links physical activity with slower mental decline. Exercise increases blood flow to all parts of the body, including the brain, and is beneficial in preventing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Exercise may delay or prevent many diseases associated with aging, such as diabetes, colon cancer, heart disease and stroke.
Injuries and wounds take longer to heal as people age. Regular exercise by seniors may speed up the wound healing process by as much as 25 percent. Being physically active can also help strengthen muscles. Being fit enough to keep doing the things you like to do as you get older is a bonus. Making exercise and physical activity a regular part of life can improve health. It can help seniors maintain independence as they age.
So why not plan on having some fun indoors!
There are many advantages to indoor sports which make them more convenient for seniors. Weather does not play a factor! Seniors are able to socialize with others in a comfortable setting while enjoying different types of physical activity in a safe environment.
This article is intended for informational purposes only. Please consult your health practitioner for more information or before starting any new activity.