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Eight Sporting Activities to Keep Older Adults Physically Active

Jan 28 2020

By Jordan Fuller

There are plenty of marvelous sports for older adults to participate in that are relatively safe and offer fun activities to keep them physically active while they have a great time with others.

Here are eight of the best sporting activities that keep elders active and provide an excellent experience that will have them coming back for more. 


Swimming is a wonderful sport for older adults to pick up because of how low-impact it is on the body. The water keeps the body afloat and allows the swimmer to simply worry about kicking their legs and moving their arms to propel forward. Great for cardiovascular exercise, swimming is easily one of the best sports for those looking for activities that are easy on the body.


Easily the most popular sport for seniors, golf provides plenty of fresh air and social interaction for its participants. Golf is also a sneaky sport that allows its players to get plenty of exercise while increasing strength and muscle through the act of swinging the golf club. The game provides hours of social interaction, as well for a boost in spirit while preventing loneliness.


Tennis is for the older adult who loves being active. The large court may be an obstacle to those that suffer from lower-body ailments, but the game could not be more enriching to the physical health of its players. For those who take in a tennis match, they can expect lateral running and plenty of rotational exercises through swinging the racket.


Shuffleboard utilizes a long court for a slower-paced activity that is far more leisurely than most of the sports on this list. The game provides older adults the opportunity to interact with others while working on their touch as they send the disc to the other end of the shuffleboard with each play. Although it may not meet the threshold for a sport that provides exercise, shuffleboard can keep a player moving throughout the game.


One of the oldest sports on this list, bowling provides infectious fun that works best in a group for plenty of social interaction. Bowlers must work on timing through their feet and swinging of the bowling ball, making it one of the more demanding sports as each game is played. Bowling is great for improving strength and coordination.

Ping Pong

Ping pong is great for older adults because the table is small and the player doesn’t have to cover a lot of ground to return the ball. The game helps older adults work on their lateral movement and improves eye-hand coordination. Another positive aspect of ping pong is that it can be played with individuals of any age, perfect for playing with a grandchild.


Badminton acts like slow tennis with a shorter, more compact court that helps with the net being higher. Players have small rackets and the ball is replaced with a birdie that holds in the air and makes it easier for slower players to catch up and hit it back across the net.


Throwing horseshoes is not only wildly entertaining at a cookout, but also brings people together, making it one of the best social sports to participate in. The weight of the horseshoes strengthens muscles and the game can be easily adapted to reduce the size of the throw for older adults.

Additional Read: Smart Ways to Have A Stress-Free Lifestyle While Aging In Place

Jordan Fuller is a golf coach and mentor. He loves teaching kids, elders and novice golfers to play golf. Golf has a lot of benefits, especially to one's physical well-being. Jordan also owns a publication site, https://www.golfinfluence.com/, where he shares tips and tricks to help improve the game.