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3 reasons why keeping fit is important as you get older
Whether you were a keen sports person or casual weekend walker in your earlier years, it’s no hiding the truth; our bodies need a little bit of extra love and attention in order to stay fit and healthy as we get older. However, rather than hit the gym (with all those Gen Z gym-junkies) getting older offers a range of new opportunities to get out, be active and have a bit of fun.
Whether it’s spending some time on the tennis court, catching up with a few friends at bowls or walking the fairway of the local golf club, you’d be surprised how a little bit of regular exercise can contribute to your overall wellbeing in more than just a physical way.
Regular Sport Helps to Keep You Socially Active
One of the most underestimated benefits to regular exercise is the social interactivity it presents. An active body is only as good as an active mind and with retirement comes the breaking of long-lasting familiar routines such as work, of which social interactivity is a major focus.
TODD: I heard you’ve recently joined a tennis club, where did the motivation come from?
SHARON: Well I’m very much a tennis novice but being retired, I understand how important it is to keep fit is at my age. But if I’m to be totally honest, it’s the social side I love. I love having a chat and catching up after a hit on the court.
TODD: So there’s not that much tennis that actually gets played?
SHARON: Well that’s where you come in, how about a few pointers to get me out there?
TODD: So tennis aside, I sense that community is really important to this place?
SHARON: After losing my husband a couple of years ago I was feeling a little lonely, so when a friend recommended I join the club, I thought; why not?
TODD: I just love how tennis can bring people together like that.
SHARON:You can say that again!
Regular Sport Keeps You Physically Active
From heart disease to diabetes, there is no denying that what were once small aches and pains may manifest to more serious chronic conditions. That’s the science of it, and that’s why regular sport and exercise is important in helping prolong the symptoms, meaning less trips for you to the doctor.
Regular exercise is central to how you can help prevent longer term injuries to the body. Activities such as walking can help increase your heart rate, which can mean a decreased risk of cardiovascular conditions and obesity. The Australian Government Department Of Health states that even aiming for 30 minutes of increased heart-rate each day, five days a week can drastically improve your health.
Osteoporosis, which causes fragile bones is also a common implication of ageing. Whilst medication can help fight symptoms, moderate-resistance activities like stairs, cross-trainers and even gardening can help build bone density, preventing fractures and reducing the rate of natural bone loss later in life.
TODD V/O: Steve’s a newcomer to tennis, and he’s just joined a social group who play on the weekends. Turns out he’s quite the natural.
TODD: So, how’d you get into tennis then?
STEVE: My wife dragged me along one day, I was a little reluctant at first but I loved it.
TODD: Is this the only way you managed to stay fit & healthy though?
STEVE: No, I’m a landscape gardener by trade, but at my age I just can’t do the heavy lifting I used to, so tennis is a great way to stay active, and I head down the courts most weekends.
TODD: It’s not just about the physical side, you get that nice social aspect
STEVE: Oh Totally. I’ve made some really good mates playing tennis, and my wife too. Everyone seems so positive
TODD: I can tell that the practice has actually been paying off
STEVE: Well, I’ll back myself, but I’m just not used to playing in front of all these cameras
Regular Sport Gives You A Purpose
Last but not least, regular exercise and sport can help create a purpose as you head into retirement. As you say goodbye to important milestones such as having a successful career, paying off that mortgage or creating a family, heading into retirement may lead to many restless thoughts about the future.
By joining sports groups, or participating in regular exercise you can develop new personal goals to aim for and give you a weekly purpose. Much like a hobby allows a creative outlet or personal passionate, joining a sporting team can give this same purposeful effect, with a shared common goal and ambition to aim for each week, month or year.
So, whether you are the social butterfly, are looking to break a sweat, or simply need a new purpose, sport is a great way to get involved and stay social active and healthy as you get set and go into retirement.
TODD V/O: Raymond’s nickname around his home club is the veteran. The way he moves around the court, you’d never guess his age.
TODD: Hey mate, I hear you’re hitting them really well.
RAYMOND: Well given the amount of time I spend out here I’d be a little worried if I wasn’t hitting them alright.
TODD: So has tennis always been a big part of your life?
RAYMOND: I played a decent standard in my schooling days, every weekend when I was still working & now almost three times a week in my retirement. ‘The Veteran’ nickname is certainly justified.
TODD: So in retirement, why’s tennis been so important to you?
RAYMOND: Well, being a former dentist, I tended to play regularly with other medical professionals. Some of these blokes I’ve been playing with for almost 30 years.
Tennis is a better way of staying connected than Facebook I reckon.
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