Not so long ago, middle-aged people would love to join their local golf club, maybe signing up for an aerobics or pilates class and, when they’re older, maybe trying a little bowling. But over the years it is the total number of sports that encourage the participation of older members of our society.
But that seems to be changing as people realize the benefits of regular exercise and realize how much pleasure there is to be had from trying out a few different leisure pastimes. Witness the recent surge in interest in Nordic walking, with hundreds of clubs and organized walks now available across the country. It claims to be the fastest growing fitness activity in the world and owes its history to cross-country skiers in Finland, who use summer training walks using ski sticks that they use to propel themselves through the snow during the winter months. The growth of this activity can be seen from its popularity among the older age group. It is cheap, uncompetitive and caters for all ability levels.
Adapted sports for older people
Other sports that are now attracting people due to new derivatives and equipment include surfing. Especially in the UK, where sea temperatures are not always suitable for bathing, the use of wetsuits and new styles of bodyboards has opened up the sport of surfing to many new groups. Younger kids can try out their techniques in relatively safe shallow waters and smaller waves, while older generations can do the same, donning warm wetsuits and splashing in between the waves on beaches around the world. England, and any time of year.
Skiing, of course, has always had many fans in England, but the ability to participate in this winter hobby has always depended on the individual’s ability to afford a winter vacation to a ski resort. That limits the amount of time anyone can spend skiing unless they visit one of Britain’s dry ski slopes. These plastic cover slopes often fail to meet those used for snow skiing. Short runs, frequent bad weather make dry slope excursions and landings difficult. Injuries, especially for older skiers, are painful and slower to heal; factor that stops many people from making repeat visits to this outdoor facility.
Newer indoor ski slopes that provide real snow and more controlled conditions may have found the answer to all these negatives and may provide the amenities all adult skiers seek. Combining ideal ski conditions, with convenience, an on-site cafe and a selection of teaching programs aimed at all age groups is set to see this new style of indoor ski center thrive.
And it’s not just skiing that older generations can enjoy. Snowboarding would appear to be an activity exclusively reserved for the younger and more adventurous age group. As an older skier who is considering trying snowboarding, you will face many obstacles; no place to try the basics before you arrive at the ski resort, no program of instruction to get you beyond basic technique and lack of a safe environment to help you get started. The answers to all these hurdles can be provided by actual snow indoor centers. The slope is not too steep,
Physical Activity for Older Adults
So maybe in the next few years we’ll join our grandparents for surfing the waves or skiing the slopes. Sports such as running, swimming and cycling already have age-related competition structures aimed at parents with many children over the age of seventy taking part in competitions that just a few years ago, even younger athletes would think twice. The revival of veteran sporting activity may be upon us and it seems that no sport is off limits.
The author reviews the popularity of exercise in old age which sees more activity on people’s agendas as they age. British adult sportsmen can develop their indoor skiing skills at The Snow Centre, a newly opened center on the outskirts of London.