Age plays a key role in deciding what sports activities suit us best.
As we age, not only do certain physical abilities alter, but mental capabilities change as well. Sometimes these subtle or not so subtle changes alter our ability to participate in certain sports. If you're looking for a sports activity that suits your age, use this as a guide.
It is a well known fact that younger people just naturally have higher energy levels. When choosing a sport, make sure you consider your own energy. Just because you could play an entire soccer game without being replaced during the game when you were younger, doesn't necessarily mean that you can do it now.
A lot of sports activities require starting and then suddenly stopping for periods of time, instead of constant fluid motion. As you age, this can be hard on your muscles and joints. Once they're warmed up and loose, it can be relatively easy to keep them moving as long as the sports activity isn't interrupted.
Extreme bouts of heat or cold is harder to tolerate for some people as they age. For example, children can play outside in the heat for hours during the summer and do the same in the frigid cold of winter. Adults, however, as they age develop a stronger sensitivity to weather extremes.
Coordination, Endurance & Agility
Circulation, reflexes and longevity all vary depending upon age. Sometimes due to weight gain from a child or an illness, our equilibrium is off and we're not as steady on our feet. Medications often promote more clumsiness that could make us miss a ball, or trip. Vision plays a key role here as well, thus hindering hand-eye coordination. Flexibility also changes within varying ages and possibly slows reaction time.
With age, comes wisdom. And with that wisdom, what used to be important, no longer is. You're not as likely to judge, to fire off in anger or to react in any physical manner at all. Instead of being the show off, or having to be 'the best' you're more focused on being a good example, or even being politically correct. As early as your twenties, you relax, slow down and just adjust to a calmer, often slower pace.
This is one characteristic that greatly dissipates with age. If you were timid in sports before, you will likely remain timid. However, if you were overly aggressive in sports activities when you were younger, this may very well fade away in time. The need to be that 'firecracker' during every single game just isn't there anymore. It may be more important for you to unwind during sports, or to be a great support for others.
Communication also changes with age. You become more articulate and instead of communicating by shouts and motions during sports activities, you might prefer sitting down after a game and analyzing the plays. With some sports, quick commands or shouts are often necessary in order to help with a win. Yelling and shouting commands quickly sucks energy. As you age, you come to value your energy and are far more fulfilled using it for mental processes.
High Pain Tolerance
In most cases, you're born with a fixed threshold of pain and carry it with you throughout your life regardless of age. However, if you get knocked down as you get older, because of other injuries or physical limitations, it may set off a chain reaction of aches and pain that is far more excruciating then it used to be.
As we age, our focus automatically is spread out. We may have kids, a spouse, bills to pay, an important deadline at work, etc. Having so many other things other than sports activities to divide your focus, it can be more challenging to keep your head in the game. This doesn't mean that you're too mature to play sports. It just means that you may need to consider how much mental focus you can afford in order to play a particular sport.
All of these factors provide little clues that point to which sports activities you may be able to really enjoy and which ones you may be better off letting go. If you are undecided on which sport suits you, try out some, one at a time for a while. Pay attention to the aforementioned factors and make your decision based upon your needs. Some sports that are very age diverse include running, swimming, and cycling. Try a few sports activities and use this guide to help you find the perfect one that suits you best.
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