Sports Safety for Older Adults

Don't let age keep you from playing the sports you love. Older adults just need to take into account a series of tips so you can stay active safely.
Sports Safety for Older Adults

Last update: 29 November, 2020

No stage of life should stop you from doing physical activityOn the contrary, you should always try to stay active. However, it’s important to know how older adults can stay safe while playing sports.

Try to eliminate thoughts or myths you’ve heard from other people. Being older doesn’t immediately disable you; what you need is to continue being active without ignoring what your body tries to tell you.

Even if you only do some exercise, it’s best to continue. However, you need to take certain tips into account to stay safe.

Sports safety for older adults

When people become elderly, it’s common to begin to gradually abandon all their activities, even sports. Also, some don’t transition out of their hobbies. Instead, they stop them completely.

This behavior doesn’t just affect your physical state, which encourages a sedentary lifestyle and the appearance of non-communicable diseases (NCD). Also, it impacts your mental health. Often, it can cause disorders such as depression or anxiety.

Seek professional help

One of the main tips for older adults playing sports is to go to a professional. Remember, it’s normal to grow old. It shouldn’t be a reason to stop being active.

First of all, go to your general doctor and have a physical. This can tell you if you’re suffering from any physical or psychological diseases. In addition, it’ll tell you if you need to modify your sports to suit you better.

An older man on a court.

Also, seek advice from a coach. Then, based on the results from your physical, ask for a routine to practice sports in a healthy way. If it seems more appropriate, ask for second opinions, but make sure they’re qualified.

Measure intensity

Intensity is a concept that lots of people are confused by because it can be hard to see the difference between moderate and high intensities. Performing a high-intensity sport can affect you, even if you aren’t an older adult. This is especially true if you aren’t in shape.

For the elderly, the recommendation is to do a moderate activity. This is due to physiological changes that happen during this stage of life. For example, the loss of physical capacities such as strength and endurance stands out.

The goal of sports is to keep the body active, not to be just another aspect that affects it. Therefore, you should always keep a moderate intensity, with prior medical clearance, of course.

Wear appropriate clothing

You don’t need to wear expensive or brand name clothing. To be careful during sports, you need to wear suitable and comfortable clothing.

Choose clothes that allow mobility and blood flow, as well as comfortable shoes that protect your whole foot. If you think it’s necessary, you can even wear a helmet and knee pads; this way, you can avoid any major bruising from direct hits.

Older adults doing water aerobics.

Watch your posture

In older adulthood, the bone groups carry more of a burden than in other stages of life. In addition, there might be wear from overuse. By adopting bad postures during sports, your spine will be predisposed to suffer injuries.

On the other hand, the muscles of the body, especially in your back, can undergo involuntary contractions, causing cramps.

Sports for older adults is key to well-being

As an older adult, you’re in a stage of life where the body feels the effects of the aging process. Therefore, the first advice we offer you is to age actively, either through sports or other regular physical activity.

Also, you don’t need to stop doing your favorite sport. However, keep in mind the tips we gave you. Finally, follow all of the recommendations from your doctor.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

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This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.