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Competitive ways to improve your fitness

Senior Wellness | Apr 14, 2015

Seniors can still maintain their physical fitness competitively. Obstacle races, 5Ks, walks and even national competitions are available to older adults who want to stay in the game. Just because you are retiring does not mean you need to stop your participation in challenging activities.

Discuss what your limitations are with your health care provider and know what fun competitions are available specifically for your demographic.

Obstacle races
The Obstacle Racing Association noted that some seniors have a passion for this method of fitness maintenance. While this is one of the more intense exercises available, by working with your health care provider and being in tune with your body, you may be able to compete at this high level.

Obstacle course-style races can provide you with an outlet to relieve stress, and can fulfill you with a sense of camaraderie due to the teamwork often involved. A sense of belonging is especially important for older adults. According to a study facilitated by the University of San Francisco, loneliness has been linked to declining health and even death among the elderly. Involving yourself in a competition that involves teamwork can help you battle feelings of loneliness.

Signing up for 5K races and walks
Running for Fitness, and online publication, indicated that running is a fantastic way for older adults to improve their cardiovascular health and cut down on risks associated with diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

Remember to speak with your doctor to determine whether you can begin running or if you should exercise by walking. However, people can run at virtually any age if they warm up and cool down properly and take a sufficient number of days to rest.

Competitively walking or running for a cause, like breast cancer, Alzheimer's or poverty, is another way that you can invest yourself in a mission statement and improve your health.

National competitions available for seniors
National Senior Games is an annual competition available for seniors who want to continue challenging themselves at a high level. The event was initially established to promote healthy lifestyles and have a little fun while doing so. Basketball, bowling, judo, cycling and archery are some of the events available for you to sign up for.

In addition to the national competitions, state-level events are available as well.

When you decide to improve your health, it is easy to find fun and competitive ways to continue growing. Talk to your health care provider and start improving your fitness.