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Youth and young adults are able to learn and engage in nearly any sport or physical activity they put their minds to. Unfortunately, this ability to “do it all” usually slows and comes to a halt with age. A cycle of doing less physical activity because we feel as though we are less capable usually leads to less activity, and so the cycle continues.
Seniors who are active are far more likely to live a healthier life, and feel more well, involved, and have more positive social relationships. Keeping active throughout an entire lifetime leads to reduced risk of developing disease, heart conditions, diabetes, and other physical ailments. Exercise is also a preventive measure for injuries resulting from falls.
All of these great, proven positives about exercise, yet the rate of people who exercise regularly reduces steadily with age. There is always a place for physical activity, and the benefits at any age make it worth your while. The gains made by those who have never been active are huge, so its never too late!
34 Years and Less
For those 34 and under, you are still versatile enough to start any new sport or training program you set your mind to. Even if you haven't exercised in 10 years, you'll be able to slowly catch up.
Soccer, baseball, hockey or other leisure sport leagues is a great way to get back in touch with your physical self. However, there are risks associated with joining beer leagues; these usually have games one night per week. This is the highest demographic of people who incur injuries. Playing a sport once per week is risky since it is not enough to become “fit”. Instead, you'll be jolting the body around, getting it to do something it is not accustomed to.
Between 35 and 49 Years
This category is going to depend very strongly on how active you have previously been. If it has been 15 years or more since you've been involved in physical activity, progress very cautiously. Even though you may feel as though you can handle it, your brain and body are on two different playing fields. Gradually introduce yourself to exercise at least 3 days per week. You should be able to progress up to 5 or 6 days after 8 to 12 weeks.
Exercise at this age should begin to focus on muscle, bone, and heart health. You can still join a sports league, but be sure to first prepare with general conditioning. This means getting your mobility and flexibility going, and waking up your muscles. Imagine an old bicycle; the wheels and chain will be rusty, and need a little grease to get going. Your joints will need a greasing and wake up call before you get right into your workout.