11 Choices: Sports For Elderly People Can Be A Healthy And Fun Activity

Sports for elderly is not often encouraged, as people age, their physical activity levels also deteriorate, that’s not a reason for older adults to think that playing a sport is a thing of the past. Several sports are suitable for the elderly, which they can play indoors and outdoors.

We are often privy to conversations where our elderly parents reminisce about their heydays. They share fascinating anecdotes about the games they played or the sports they enjoyed and how they no longer can do the same as sports for elderly is not often encouraged.

It’s true that as people age, their physical activity levels also deteriorate, as there is a higher risk of injury and change in fitness levels.

But that’s not a reason for older adults to think that playing a sport is a thing of the past. Several sports are suitable for the elderly, which they can play indoors and outdoors.

Let’s look at the ten best sports for the elderly right here.

Best competitive sports for elderly

  • Swimming

Imagine getting a whole-body workout with just one sport! Well, that’s what swimming offers you. As it is a no-impact sport, swimming is easy on the joints and helps strengthen muscles, making it one of the best sports for the elderly.

If you struggle with mobility issues due to conditions like arthritis, you will be surprised to know that you will still be able to swim with ease. The water supports your body while being gentle on your joints.

  • Archery

Archery is an excellent sport for the elderly to play. But it just involves standing in one position; where is the physical activity, you may wonder?

In archery, you need to draw the arrow back in the bow, which exercises your entire upper body by keeping your arms, chest and shoulder muscles engaged. Add a bit of walking to pick up the bows, and you have a full-fledged workout.

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  • Pickleball

Pickleball is a sport that has gained a lot of popularity during the post-lockdown phase in India.

This game is an amalgamation of badminton, table tennis and tennis. Its court is smaller than a tennis court, but larger than a table tennis table. This small court makes it ideal for the elderly as there is less ground to cover.

You don’t use racquets or bats, but paddles to hit the ball. The game is relatively easy to play and does not require you to spend a lot of time practising.

  • Golf

Golf is a classic game that is an excellent sport for older adults to indulge in, and that too for a good reason.

It involves walking and proves to be a great exercise for the upper body as it requires the movement of your arms, shoulders and chest.

You can up the ante by carrying the bag or pulling the trolley. If you have trouble walking long distances, you can use the motorized cart. Golf also gives you a great mental workout, as you must assess angles, slopes, wind direction and speed before hitting the ball.

Additionally, if you find the standard club heavy to handle, you will be glad to know that there are club’s tailor-made for older players.

  • Cycling

Cycling is another exercise that can be easier on your joints while giving you an effective workout. You can also locate a cycling club near you, where you can meet new friends to help you progress in this sport.

Cycling is also a fantastic way to get from one place to another, allowing you to incorporate exercise into your daily routine.

Best low-impact sports for elderly people

  • Croquet

Croquet is an excellent backyard sport for older people. It’s a great way to enjoy the outdoors, exercise, and socialize. It’s a fun way to test your hand-eye coordination, as you need to hit your ball through narrow hoops using a long-handled wooden mallet.

With croquet, you will be giving your mind a workout as you need to strategize on how to strike your opponent’s ball or line up your teams’ balls in such a way that you can hit more balls in one strike through the hoop.

  • Walking

Walking is a great way to kickstart your journey to getting physically active. It not only strengthens bones, but is also good for your heart.

You can choose to walk with friends or alone. Walking at least 30 minutes daily, nearly four times a week, is recommended.

  • Lawn Ball

Lawn ball encourages both balance and coordination. The weight of the balls and the walking involved in the game provides a great workout.

There are also several aids available to pick these heavy balls if bending and lifting puts too much of a strain on your back and knees.

Best sports for the elderly that require the least effort

  • Yoga

Yoga is one of the best and perhaps one of the lowest-impact sports for older adults, as it is slow and gentle on the body.

Yoga offers myriad benefits like improving flexibility, strengthening joints and relieving stress and anxiety. It can be done on the floor, from a standing position or even from a chair.

  • Aerobics

Aerobics is another alternative for the elderly who can’t engage in strenuous physical activities.

Numerous gyms now offer customized classes for senior citizens. Besides cardiovascular health benefits, they also provide a fantastic socializing opportunity.

  • Tai Chi

 Tai chi is a martial art that focuses on gentle and fluid movements and has very low risk of injury, making it ideal for older adults.

It improves overall well-being and mood as it activates both your body and mind. Tai chi improves muscle strength, flexibility, balance, agility and lowers blood pressure as well.


Sports are an excellent way for older people to stay active and healthy. With the help of this list of ten sports for the elderly, you now know that there is no shortage of options for older adults.

However, you must choose a sport that is right for you. Your doctor is the best person who can help you in this process, as he can assess your physical condition and suggest the best sports for you.

Image source: Still from Best of Neena Gupta Movies| Amazon Prime Youtube

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At Women's Web we try to bring you information on Fitness & Wellness topics of interest to you. This is not, however diagnostic or prescriptive information, so please do consult your doctor or therapist before using any of it.


About the Author

Anjali Paul

I am a mom who works from home and dabbles with writing when time permits.An avid reader since childhood, blogging and writing helps me de-stress.My five year old keeps me on my read more...

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