For many older adults, just getting older doesn’t mean that they want to start participating in sports and other activities that they love. However, with an aging body, it’s vital that the proper care and preparation is put into place before exercising or competing so as to limit the risk of injuries that could lead you to checking into an assisted living facility.
To help you see how this can be done, here are three ways to reduce the odds of getting injured while playing sports as an older adult.
Make Sure You’re Fit Enough To Play
Before you start participating in any kind of physical activity, it’s wise to check in with yourself and your doctor to ensure that you’re actually fit enough to put this kind of stress on your body.
For many people, the effects of age can make it so that they’re automatically at an increased risk for injury. If this is the case for you, there may be things that your doctor can recommend that you can get your health to where it needs to be before you begin competing in sports. Otherwise, with your doctor’s approval and your desire to get your body moving, you should be okay to play.
Embrace Cross Training
Even if you have one sport that you absolutely love and could play everyday, to help reduce the chances of you getting hurt from this sport, it’s best to embrace the principle of cross training.
With cross training, you switch up your exercise routine or the sports that you’re playing so that you use different body parts and muscle groups throughout the week. By doing this, you can help your body rest between games or competitions while still getting in a workout that will keep you fit. Just make sure that what you’re doing on the days in between your games or practices actually works different muscles and parts of your body so that you can keep from putting too much stress repeatedly on the same area.
Prioritize Your Health Over Performance
If you’re someone who’s been playing sports all their life and has reached a certain level of athleticism, you may have had times where you played even when you weren’t feeling up to it. And while this might not have had a negative consequence for you in the past, at your more advanced age, it’s vital that you prioritize your health over your performance.
If there ever comes a point where you’re hurting or physically uncomfortable with what the sport is requiring of your body, give yourself permission to take a break in order to protect yourself and your health for the long-run.
If you’re committed to continuing playing sports well into your twilight years, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you stay fit and healthy.