We think about getting older, we start to lose our spirit about getting out of the house and making sure that we're still active in our community and with our friends. We often get lost in our motivation, even in doing some exercise.
For those of you out there trying to find a way to revitalize yourself consider trying picking up a new sport. This doesn't necessarily mean that you want to go out and pick up a full-contact sport because that can be more dangerous now than it would be earlier in life.
We think of the Spirit as our being and the intangible parts of ourselves that keep us going each day. There are three different benefits of sport: mental, physical, and social
Benefit 1: Mental Boost
Picking up a new sport is great for a mental boost to yourself. First sports are a mental challenge especially sports like shuffleboard or golf. Each sport does not necessarily need to have a ball or a direct opponent to be competitive.
For example with golf, you don’t directly compete with other players as you do in soccer or football. Instead, you play an internal mental game. The mental challenge of golf like sports where you are thinking all the time about each aspect of your game. Picture Tiger Woods standing behind his shot, he is mentally challenging himself to hit an exact target to carry out his next several shots to perfection.
Mental fortitude and strength developed from playing sports will lift your spirits and keep you mentally sharp. The mental benefits will be noticeable by your friends and family as you start to think several steps ahead and faster than them.
Another mental boost is a psychological benefit. Remaining active and challenging your mind each and every day benefits your psychological standing. Similar to the social boost, being around others is a great benefit to avoiding dementia and mental degradation.
Benefit 2: Physical Boost
Once you start a new sport or pick up and old one you used to play, you will see an immediate boost to your energy levels. Possibly one of the best benefits of physical activity is the effects on the brain. There are several studies that show increased brain activity. The brain benefits from the increased oxygen flowing to the brain, like food for our bodies, oxygen is food for the brain.
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Increased blood flow and oxygen to the brain contribute to a mental boost as well. Sports are also great for your cardiovascular health making your heart stronger and reducing heart illnesses and risks.
Physical boosts help lift your spirit and avoid serious elderly diseases in the latter part of life, by giving you more confidence in yourself to achieve great things. The spirit of competition helps keep you motivated and something to look forward to each and every day.
Benefit 3: Social Boost
Part of our spirit involves being around others and sharing our inner selves with others. Sports are a great way to get involved and meet new passionate people about perfecting their sport. A good attitude is infectious and is spiritually uplifting. The old phrase that laughter is the best medicine should be expanded to the best for your spirit.
Sports naturally lead themselves to socialize because they wouldn’t exist if others weren’t also interested in playing. Even individual sports like tennis will get you to socialize. Think of joining a tennis league where you get to meet with others outside of the house and enjoy the company of others.
In addition to getting out of the house and seeing other people, you will have the opportunity to talk about your sport with others in the group. This contributes to two categories, both social and mental because you will have a chance to discuss best practices and how each of you is progressing. If you happen to excel, you will be able to gloat about how you are progressing and enjoying the sport.
As part of socializing with others in a group, you can discuss how the professionals do it so effortlessly giving you another element to work through. If you happen to have families interested in sports like golf or tennis, learning or playing a new sport is a great social and emotional connection with family. This is a great experience sharing your knowledge, understanding, and passion with loved ones.
Combining the Three
Sports are great at giving three parts of your mind, body, and social self a big lift. Mental stability and the challenges from sports, especially those requiring specific strategic elements like tennis and golf are great for mental clarity. Even if you aren’t able to participate fully in a new sport, the thrill of competition and learning a new game will keep your spirit lifted and moving forward.
Probably the best benefit is creating new relationships and connections with other people. Since we are very social creatures, we thrive on relationships connections. These connections are easily developed from sports because people are passionate about them. Picking a favorite team or athlete is great for experiencing fandom and passion.
Different Sports to Try
Many benefits of basketball include a good cardio workout and have great social benefits. Since basketball is a very easy sport to show up and play because many local recreational facilities already have a basketball court available. Many playgrounds and local parks have basketball courts that are available for free. There are leagues built specifically for seniors to limit the age range and make sure each individual has fun. This lends itself to the social side of the benefits of sports.
A great sport for seniors looking to participate in the individual competition. Tennis unlike basketball and other team sports is chess with great physical exercises. Similar to senior basketball leagues, there are senior tennis leagues available at local rec centers to get you more socially involved. One of the better benefits of tennis is a mental challenge.
It is more like a chess match with the other person on the other side of the test. Tennis is very health for joint movement and keeping yourself limber, just make sure to do some warmups. Remaining limber and being flexible is a great way to remain physically healthy at any age.
A great sport that can be picked up by anyone at any age, golf offers a mental challenge. A bonus of golf is the course designers have multiple tee boxes that compensate for golfers' ability. Many courses have cheaper rates much lower than busy periods meaning it is both affordable and fun. Golf is perfect because you can get exercise or take a more leisurely route. Walking nine or eighteen holes is a great way to exercise and walking eighteen holes can equate to almost 4 miles. There are pull carts to keep the weight off your back when you are walking. Instead of walking, riding in a cart can still give exercise with warm upswings and approaches.
Golf leagues can be played with members of any age range since the rules of the game are adjusted to reflect talent and ability. Handicaps and yardage compensate for your ability and make the challenge even better.
Choosing the right sport for your health and wants can be great social, physical, and mental health. Many of your local recreational areas, parks, and golf courses can support senior leagues and promote health regardless of your age.
Jordan Fuller is a golf mentor and coach who loves to motivate golf aspirants to be a better golfer. He started as a novice too and desired to improve his game. Jordan also shares some tips and guides on his golf publication site, https://www.golfinfluence.com. Jordan can also be found in his social media accounts: https://twitter.com/jofullergolf and https://www.facebook.com/golfinfluence/