Hitting your golden years doesn’t mean you can’t take up a new sport and stay fit with it through the rest of your life.
At age 50, Jimmy McIntyre decided to do something he hadn’t done in nearly decades – he laced up a pair of boots and headed out on the soccer pitch.
Within weeks of his rediscovery of the sport he played throughout his days as a youth, he found himself spending as much time as he can on the pitch. He ended up putting together a soccer club for all ages and all skill levels in the Newark metropolitan area.
It wasn’t without its challenges – McIntyre suffered a quadriceps injury that he just recently fully recovered from – but he stuck with the same weight training, dribbling, and cardio routine for soccer players that helped him lose nearly 25 pounds.
As the Passaic native wrote to us:
“I remember why soccer was and will always be my first love: the teamwork, the satisfaction after going through a good session, the need to improve constantly, and the fact that I’ve never been fitter and lighter than I am today – ever since I had to walk away from the game 26 years ago.”
Jimmy McIntyre’s testimony is a hallmark case that proves one thing: it’s never too late to do something you always wanted – or rediscover the flame of an old favorite – from age 50 and onwards.
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If soccer is too strenuous or somewhat too intimidating to pick up due to health or injury concerns, no worries – there are oodles and oodles of sporting or physical activities you can take up. We’ve put together a list of the best sporting activities men over 50 can pursue as long as they want to – throughout their golden years.
It’s never too late to rediscover your inner Pete Sampras or Johnny McEnroe.
Memories of these tennis greats’ primes would definitely be a fond memory for you. Let’s be realistic – while it’s most likely too late in the day to compete at the US Open, there’s plenty of time to enjoy the sport of tennis. Even if you’re just getting your skin in the game for the first time in your 50s.
And why not? Playing tennis delivers a wide array of health benefits that do your body a whole lot of good. Regular exercise delivers benefits such as improved aerobic performance, reduced resting heart rate, lower blood pressure, improved metabolism, better bone health, and reduced stress. Plus, tennis is just a fun way to sweat off the carbs. Need we say more?
Swimming is a terrific exercise for individuals of any age. Not only does it give you a great cardio workout – it gives you a robust workout that’s easy on your bones and joints.
Based on research from the University of Indiana, swimming might just be the proverbial fountain of youth talked about in ancient mythology. Why so? Researchers found that regular and intensive swimming significantly reduced the onset of declining age markers like blood pressure, metabolism, blood chemistry, lung function, and muscle mass.
If that’s not reason enough to get in the water, we don’t know what is!
Ah, yes, of course – the quintessential sport we all think about when we imagine men in their golden years enjoying sports.
Well, golf isn’t just an opportunity to bond over socials and dress nice every once in a while. It’s also an opportunity for men who wish to remain physically active but face particular health issues such as arthritis or gout, which are diseases that become more common with age.
Golf is a sport that improves muscular and joint flexibility due to the fact that swinging the golf club with proper form requires a maximum range of motion. It’s not a sport of sheer physicality or athleticism, but rather a sport of wits, technique, and tactics. Here’s a little-known fact, however: casual golfers who play twice a week may get anywhere from four to eight miles in total walking distance. That’s good cardio anytime you can get it – the socials are just gravy!
Cycling is increasingly becoming popular with individuals over 50. The stats don’t lie – from 1995-2009, the 60-79 year old demographic represented 37% in total bike trips, according to US biking advocacy nonprofit organization PeopleForBikes.
There’s no need to introduce the well-known health benefits of biking. There are plenty of cycling resources for riders of all skill levels and of all ages – everything is just a Google search away.
In the end, we should always remember one truth: the body always withers, so may as well strengthen the mind and the spirit.
That is, no matter how well you maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle, the body will eventually break down. Sooner or later, sports that require more physicality may no longer be as enticing to participate in or downright impossible to join at all.
Well, yoga just might be the thing for you.
Yoga is a low-impact exercise that’s proven to improve focus, stamina, and flexibility that lends itself well to the 50 and above crowd (and practically any crowd).