The Best Sports for Athletes Over 50

Written by spencer hope davis
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The Best Sports for Athletes Over 50
Staying active and flexible is key to a long, healthy life. (Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

There's no reason that physical activity and participation in sports should decrease as people get older. The American Association of Retired Persons, among others, asserts that the best way to stay in shape and maintain physical and mental health is to remain active. Several sports are perfect for those over 50, offering sweat, action and challenge for long, healthy lives.


Golf is an excellent sport for those over 50, many of whom begin playing at younger ages. Your golf game may change as you get older, but you can still be a great player. Using lighter clubs, riding more in a golf cart or allowing yourself a couple more strokes to complete a hole will ensure that you will continue to be able to enjoy a long and challenging day on the links.

Weight Training

You may have seen videos of 95-year-old weightlifters proclaiming this sport as their fountain of youth. Resistance training done three or four times a week is an excellent way to slow the loss of lean muscle mass, which maintains strong posture and excellent muscle tone. Exercise physiologist Mark D. Peterson found that as little 20 weeks of resistance training produced 1.13 Kilogram of muscle. Check with your gym about age-based weight training competitions. Likely be a trainer who is involved in competitions can steer you toward your own adventure in weightlifting.


Few sports provide cardio boosting exercise with weightless muscle strengthening like swimming. Lap swimming will keep you in excellent shape. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that just 2 1/2 hours a week of swimming can reduce your risk of chronic illness. The water supports your joints, and because the sport does not involve contact, it's especially good for those over 50. If you aren't a strong swimmer, contact your local YMCA for lessons. It's easy to learn to swim and competitive swimming is a great way to reach personal bests while connecting with others in a group.


Starting a jogging regimen have a number of health benefits for the runner over 50. Two miles a day is a great start on the road to lowering cholesterol, increasing cardiovascular strength and burning calories. Add just one more mile and you have nearly completed a 5K, which is a common starting point for competitive runners. Work up from 5K to 8K, then to 10K and perhaps a half-marathon and beyond. If you're a beginning runner and don't know where to start, try looking online to find a good couch-to-5K program.

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