Being physically fit is essential for overall health. And one of the best ways to stay fit is by playing sports. However, older people sometimes find it hard to get involved in these activities. So how do you get them back into their game? Home health care provider Amavi is here to guide you.
The Benefits Of Sports For Seniors
The benefits people get from sports are already apparent to most of us. But what about specifically for seniors? Here is a rundown of the great things they can get by playing.
Improves Physical Health
Arguably the most significant benefit that being active in sports can give seniors is improving their physical health. It is a great way to get the exercise they need and helps maintain their weight. Additionally, playing sports actually helps them avoid some common injuries associated with old age.
This is because sports also help improve their balance and flexibility. It also strengthens their bones and muscles. Both of these play a significant role in helping prevent falls, which are one of the major causes of injuries in older people.
Helps Prolong Life
Aside from building physical health, sports also helps seniors strengthen their bodies against diseases. In particular, physical activity helps lower your cholesterol and sugar levels. These conditions are linked to life-threatening conditions like heart disease and diabetes.
Improve Mental Well Being
Participating in sports can help your older loved one improve their mental health in various ways. For starters, sports are a good way for them to stay relaxed. It relieves stress and lets them stay happier. Such activities also release endorphins, the body’s natural pleasure chemicals.
Meanwhile, being an active player can also help their cognition. Many sports require a lot of concentration when playing. That helps them stay focused on other tasks. It also works well in maintaining alertness.
A Great Way To Socialize
Socialization is an essential factor in older people’s overall health. It helps them offset boredom and meet new friends. And sports offer a good opportunity for them to do just that, whether playing individual sports or joining teams.
Another fun aspect of sports is that it helps fire up their competitive nature. When your loved ones see other seniors doing well in their chosen sport, it encourages them to try that as well. In turn, this encourages them to go out and meet people.
Why Seniors Are Hesitant To Do Sports
With all those benefits, you might wonder why your older loved one might hesitate to get into sports. Knowing these reasons will actually help you come up with a better game plan to convince them., Here are the common ones you will encounter.
Doubting Their Self Efficacy
Self-efficacy refers to one’s confidence in their abilities. As we age, that self-efficacy decreases, mainly due to our changing perceptions about overall health. And with some sports requiring high physical fitness, seniors often think they’re simply past their prime to play.
Fear Of Injury
Having weaker bodies, your older loved ones might also worry that getting into sports can lead to injuries. Note that this is a valid concern. However, the fear might be strong enough that they refrain from even activities with a relatively low risk for injuries.
It is also worth noting that some older people might become more conscious of their physical appearance. This is especially the case with sports, where such appearances convey how fit they are. Hence, they might feel uneasy when playing with others.
Older people often experience a general lack of energy, which lead them to become lethargic. As such, they might not always be interested in any physical activity, including sports. However, this increased lethargy can also have a bad side effect.
Convincing Your Older Loved Ones To Get Into Sports
So, how do you get your older loved ones into sports at their age? Here, you will need to be strategic in your approach. Seniors don’t like being forced into trying something they might not be interested in.
Knowing More About Their Preferences
The first thing you want to do is learn about their preferences. Don’t go directly talking about sports just yet. Instead, you can talk about the general physical activities they like. That will give you an idea of the particular sport they might be interested in.
For instance, seniors who prefer more relaxed activities might prefer a sport like bowling or badminton. On the other hand, more adventurous seniors might opt for something more fast-paced like tennis or basketball.
Once you know their likes, you can talk about getting into that sport. Here, you can ask them why they are hesitant to play again. You can then tell them you are ready to support them if they want to get into the playing field again.
Getting Back Into Form
Before heading out to the playing field, your senior relative should have a thorough checkup. Doctors will be able to ascertain how physically fit they are for the sport they want to try out. From there, they can give essential recommendations and reminders so your loved one can fully enjoy their playing time.
Once they start playing, don’t go for a full game just yet. Let them acclimate to the sport first. For instance, you might want to let them do the same drills beginners do. That is a good way for them to jog up their skills again in preparation for the actual game.
You can then gradually get them to play a full game. However, be attentive to see whether they are comfortable during the whole match.
Some Important Safety Precautions
To ensure your loved one enjoys their time on the court, you should always look out for their safety. To start, ensure they are wearing the right gear for the sport. That should include protective equipment like knee pads and guards so that they can lessen injuries.
You would also want to make sure that you have first aid ready. In particular, you should have medications prepared so that they can have them if needed. It would also be a good idea to have medical personnel ready to help you.
This is where Amavi’s home health care service comes into play. Our caregivers will be on standby to help you in case of an emergency. Additionally, we can connect you with other medical professionals and physical therapists to help your older loved one get the full sports experience.
Get Seniors Into Sports With The Best Home Health Care Provider
We at Amavi believe that getting into sports is a great way to keep your older loved ones up on their toes. And we are ready to help you ensure they have all the fun. So contact us and get the best home health care you will need.