Choose Senior Softball as Your Retirement Hobby
After spending decades in the workforce trying to provide for their loved ones, most seniors look forward to retirement as a time when they can relax and do more things that they enjoy. For many people, this means finding a restful hobby that allows them to take it easy. There are a growing number of senior citizens, however, that aren’t quite ready to slow down just because they’ve stopped working. For these spry seniors, softball is an exciting and poplar alternative to the traditional retirement pastimes.
One of the best reasons that senior citizens should play softball is the excellent benefit to a player’s overall health and wellbeing. As our bodies age, they become more susceptible to injury and illness. Regular exercise is a major deterrent to this process and a priceless resource for staying healthy. In specific, softball targets the four key types of exercise recommended by international health professionals for all seniors. Balance exercises are crucial in preventing falls, which are among the leading causes of serious injuries in older adults from year to year. Numerous movements in softball strengthen the leg muscles that are needed for stability.
Seniors who suffer from stiff joints and muscles aches due to tension could also greatly benefit from stretching exercises. They improve flexibility, which results in more freedom of movement. Softball players must stretch frequently so that they will be limber enough to fully extend their arms when swinging the bat, pump their legs when running, and bend their backs to reach for balls on the ground or in the air.
Getting older also means more careful monitoring of your weight and blood sugar. High glucose levels often lead to diabetes, a disease which can be fatal in extreme cases. To be successful in softball, team members must be able to easily lift a bat using the muscles in their shoulders. They also have to develop strong thighs if they want to make it around the bases quickly. The strength training utilized in softball increases the metabolism, which is the main factor in maintaining low blood sugar and managing your weight.
Finally, playing sports increases endurance. Endurance exercises increase your heart rate and allow you to breathe more steadily for extended periods of time. This in turn decreases your risk of a heart attack by developing the natural ability of your cardiovascular system. Almost every aspect of playing softball involves physical endurance, so retirees who participate lead healthier, more active lifestyles.
Besides being a wonderful way to stay fit, senior softball leads to social bonding that can be hard to come by within the retired community. Work is a convenient setting for making friends, but the task is much more difficult for those in retirement. Joining a team with others in their age group helps seniors to make connections, avoid loneliness, and experience an overall better quality of life.
According to Senior Softball USA, over 1.5 million seniors play softball in the Unites States alone. Men over 50 and women over 45 are registering for local leagues at a rate of nearly 500 per quarter. In most cases, finding a team is as easy as looking through the newspaper. Prospective players may also have to submit some light paperwork, undergo a sports physical, and pay a registration fee.
Growing old doesn’t have to mean staying in the house, being alone, and giving in to boredom. Whether you’re a looking to improve your health or simply maintain an active lifestyle, softball is an excellent retirement hobby. If you’re a senior who likes having fun and making friends, look into joining a softball league near you.
Thank you to Kristen McMahan for this "Senior Softball" article.