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Benefits of Participating in a ‘Lifetime’ Sport

What is a ‘lifetime’ sport?

Lifetime sports are those sports or activities you can participate in for your whole life. Finding a sport that you enjoy is one of the keys to successful exercise adherence throughout your life. You can't maintain the physical and mental health benefits of sport if you don't continue to play or participate in physical activity. It's much easier to find time for exercise when it's an activity you enjoy and are passionate about.

What makes a ‘lifetime’ sport?

There are many sports or activities that have "masters" or "seniors" divisions that allow athletes compete at top levels well into adulthood. Tennis, golf, swimming, track and field are some good examples. However, if you do not have a competitive spirit, there's no need to participate in competitions to play your favorite sports. Almost any sport can be considered a lifetime sport for the right person. However, some sports can be considered ‘risky’ due to high levels of repetitive stress and/or high impact leading to overuse or traumatic injuries. For lower risk examples consider the following: Ballroom dance, bicycling, bowling, canoeing or other paddle sports, golf or disc golf, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing, swimming or water aerobics, tennis and other racquet sports (like pickleball), yoga or pilates, or walking/hiking.

Benefits of ‘lifetime’ sports

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, adults should participate in 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days a week, plus strength training at least two days a week. Lifetime sports are a great way to get involved with communities and social gatherings. You do not have to be the best, but the key to living a long healthy life is staying active. We don’t stop moving because we get old, we get old because we stop moving.

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