We are on the verge of a demographic revolution as the number of people over 50 will double over the next 35 years. By 2020 over 36 percent of the population in the United States will be over 50 years old. People are living longer and staying fit after 50 is a big part of extending longevity. Aging is simply the process of losing cells as you grow older and your cells stop dividing like they used to. Regular exercise strengthens your muscles and joints and can slow the aging process down by up to 10 percent each year. What are the sports you can enjoy after the age of 50? Here’s our list of the top five recommended sports for people over 50 as well as the bottom five…
Top Five Sports Recommended for People Over 50
There’s no more effective way to work those muscles without pounding the pavement. One mile of swimming in the pool is the equivalent of running four miles. Swimming is also perfect for people recovering from injury or trying to protect their joints from the hard impact some other sports require. If you’re over 50 and have access to a pool you’re set to keep that Mojo going… so go swim a few laps.
Who knew holding still in different positions could make you sweat so much? Yoga can improve flexibility, endurance and concentration. It’s also low impact so it’s perfect for the AARP crowd or any crowd for that matter. We have it on authority that many NFL and NBA players including Lebron James practice Yoga. You also don’t have to wear yoga pants if you’re not into showing the world your world every time you stretch.
Cycling is another fantastic low impact way to get that heart pumping and those legs working. Cycling also happens to be one of the fastest growing sports in America. Cycling clubs are everywhere and in the last two years cycling has increased by over 100% in major cities like New York, London & Philadelphia. The only caveat to cycling is that it can be dangerous as the roads are still ruled by the all mighty automobile. Drivers aren’t always aware of cyclists so stick to cycling trails and pathways if you can.
Yes, this is indeed exercise if you walk the course. Also, hitting the driving range with a bucket of balls can actually break a sweat. However, if you have a caddie, drive a golf cart and only get out to swing at the occasional chip shot; you might as well stay home watch Netflix and chill. This is also a low impact option that offers a great opportunity to socialize, so pick your tee time buddies carefully.
OK, sex really only burns about 100 calories on average but with the population aging rapidly it’s definitely a sport to be enjoyed by all consenting adults. Also, with the advent of Viagra and Cialis a whole new demographic has been empowered to keep things going. There’s no doubt that sex is good for you. Remember according to Malcolm Gladwell it takes 10,000 hours to get really good at something.
Bottom Five Sports Not Recommended for People Over 50
…or anyone really
Is this really a sport or just a short cut to breaking some bones? It’s fun to watch someone else do it but whatever you do don’t watch the outtakes from Parkour… you’ll never recover. Parkour requires the strength of a gymnast and a fearless nature… you also can’t be afraid of heights. If you’re body is made of elastic go ahead and try it out.
2. Bull Riding
The bull is angry and weighs 2,400 lbs (1,088 kg)… you weigh 175 lbs (79 kg) soaking wet… do the math… it’s going to hurt… you will break bones! On a side note the bull also has horns it can impale you with. You could just go down to the nearest Honky-tonk Bar and ride the mechanical bull with padding and a soft mat to land on.
Let’s get in the best shape of our lives and then beat the ever loving stuffing out of each other. The face and the chest are the primary targets… is there any reason to take up boxing after the age of 50 or any age for that matter? It won’t even be useful in a bar brawl because someone’s going to use the pool cue or a broken long neck Budweiser. If you like hitting stuff just stick with the heavy bag and the speed bag. Tape a face to them if you need to hit somebody.
4. American Football
Men running directly at each other full speed can only cause harm. Getting hit by a 250 lb (113 kg) linebacker is the equivalent of falling to the ground from a second story balcony. Just read the news… even with padded helmets concussions and permanent brain damage are common in the NFL. This sport is definitely not recommended for anyone with brittle bones. We also can’t get enough of it as the NFL owns Sunday afternoons.
This time it’s men running at each other full speed without padding. A rugby scrum between two teams can generate up to 6,000 lbs (2,721 kg) of force on each side. That’s more than the 2,400 lb (1,088 kg) bull from number two above. Does this sound like fun? Do you have health insurance… You’re going to need it?
This is just our short list and there’s no reason anyone over the age of 50 couldn’t take up rugby or bull riding. We just don’t recommend it. There are actually plenty of sports you can enjoy after 50 including tennis, softball, volleyball, running, weight lifting and dancing just to name a few. We just chose the low impact ones. The sport you choose depends on what you’re comfortable with and what your body can handle. Playing soccer with an all star team of nineteen year old phenoms might be a bad idea. Playing soccer with a group of fellow 50 year olds is probably a better way to go. Always use your best judgement. Don’t be limited by our list but know that you do indeed have physical limits. Good luck and stay fit!