We've all read about the benefits of staying active as we age, but sometimes, it can be hard to force yourself to get up for a jog around your senior living community. That's why social activities that combine friends and fitness are ideal for older adults. A group of seniors in New Jersey know that firsthand, as they get together twice a week for a rousing game of softball, reports NJ.com.
The Bucks-Mercer league is a group of over-65 men who enjoy spending time in the sunshine and participating in some friendly competition. They play 40 games a season against other older adult softball teams. Because some of their members have physical ailments, they make sure to put safety first when it comes to their games.
When the Bucks take to the field, they set up two home plates and two first bases, to make sure teammates don't collide. They also assemble a screen next to the pitcher's mound during batting practice, and they employ four outfielders instead of the normal three you see in the big leagues. In addition, they ensure that the games don't run too long - the team at bat can only score five runs per inning.
The team is also pretty lenient when it comes to practice and participating in games. One of the players who has an arthritic knee told the news outlet that he doesn't always play twice a week, and that he knows to quit before he overexerts himself.
But their health status doesn't get in the way of their competitive spirit. "They're away from their wives, so they have courage now," Bob Lorincz, one of the players, told the news source about his fellow teammates. "At home it's, 'Yes dear, no dear.' But they're pretty brave when they're away from home."
According to MedicineNet.com, as seniors age, their muscle mass naturally decreases. Fortunately, older adults who participate in regular physical fitness can restore some of their lost muscle.
Of course, not all seniors want to participate in team sports. There are plenty of ways to get exercise without joining a softball team. For instance, the website states that simply taking a walk for 10 minutes a day is a good way to get started and increase one's endurance. Aerobic classes, swimming and cycling are other low-impact options for seniors looking to stay fit.