2016 is a big year for many reasons: not only is it an election year, but the summer Olympics are also quickly approaching! It’s a rare time when the world comes together to watch the best athletes compete for the Olympic gold, and the 2016 Olympics are sure to be no exception.
With the summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro right around the corner, there are plenty of events that seniors would be able to enjoy. There are many health benefits to these senior-friendly events, including Archery, Golf, Rowing, Table Tennis and Croquet.
Senior-Friendly Events in the 2016 Olympics
Archery may not come to mind when you think of senior-friendly Olympic events, but archery provides a variety of health benefits for seniors. One of the most notable is that it improves one’s balance. Keeping still while aiming and shooting the arrow requires balance and strengthens your upper body muscles. Even better, archery really is a sport for all ages – annual archery competitions for seniors are held by the National Senior Games Association, and some competitions involve groups of people, making it a great sport to enjoy with others.
Out of all the senior-friendly Olympic events on this list, golf is the most mainstream sport and easily available to play on a regular basis. Golf is a great exercise that actually comes with many health benefits for seniors, such as promoting your heart health. Similar to archery, golf is a great social sport to enjoy with others, and as an added bonus, walking on the scenic and relaxing golf course can lower your stress levels and boost your overall mental health.
Out of all the senior-friendly events you can watch during the 2016 Olympics this summer, rowing might seem to be the most intense and intimidating event, but that certainly doesn’t mean you can’t give it a shot. In fact, you don’t even have to be out on the water to get the health benefits of rowing! Rowing machines are a great alternative for seniors as they strengthen your legs, shoulders and back, but the key is using this type of machine correctly. To improve your strength, balance and posture, be sure to pull back all the way through the movement and squeeze your shoulder blades together at the end of your pull. As with most exercises, your form can not only increase the effectiveness of the workout, but also prevent you from getting injured.
We may think of table tennis as more of a fun, leisurely activity, but it’s an event you’ll see at the summer Olympics. It actually comes with many surprising health benefits, too. Along with improving your eye-hand coordination and reflexes, table tennis is also easy on your joints, which makes it a perfect option for those who have had back or ankle problems or knee surgery. Plus, it’s another great social sport. Check your local community center to see if they have ping pong tables and any table tennis competitions or tournaments.
If you’re looking for a way to enjoy the sunny weather and play like an Olympic athlete, croquet may be just what you’re looking for. It may be a low-impact exercise, but it is a very mentally-stimulating exercise, similar to doing a crossword or playing a game of chess. Remember that your brain, and not just your body, needs exercise, too!
Enjoy checking out these senior-friendly events during the 2016 Olympics beginning Friday, August 5 to Sunday, August 21, and don’t be afraid to try some of these activities yourself! Many community centers offer these types of sports and activities for seniors to enjoy together. But before you try any of these events, check with your doctor first to discuss any restrictions you may have and take lessons with a licensed trainer to prevent injury.
And remember: You don’t have to be an Olympic athlete to enjoy participating in sports like one! Our Mobile Guardian will keep you protected out in the field this summer.