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Engaging in sporting activities has great benefits for our physical and mental health. But our bodies won’t be able to put up with the impact of certain sports forever. How old should you be before you stop sports?
Most sports don’t have an age limit however children quit playing certain sports at age 11 and adults at age 40+. Note that this all depends on the type of sport and their interest to remain engaged. As our body ages partaking in strenuous sports becomes riskier and overtime taste and interest change.
Let’s talk more about playing sport across your lifetime.
What age should you stop playing sports?
There is no specific and outlined age to stop playing sports, you can continue until your body tells you it’s too hard. The recommended age to continue playing sports up to is at least 18. That being said, children and adults stop playing sports at different ages for various reasons. Kids today usually quit between the ages of 11 and 13 because sport becomes less fun to them. They aren’t as excited by sport as when they were younger.
Part of why children stop playing sports as they get older is because of the pressure associated with them. There is pressure of competing against others and enduring intense training. But previously, a Harvard study found that lots of people actually continued some kind of sport up to the age of 26. Then they stopped because their time and interest decreased.
For adults that remain involved with sport and possibly even play professional, it’s recommended to consider retiring at around 40. But it doesn’t mean you have to stop playing sports at this age. This is just an age to consider the intensity of the sports you are participating in and the effect it can have on your health. Playing sports for longer can reduce certain health issues, but increase the likelihood of different joint problems.
Either way though, you can play sports up to whatever age you desire, really. Provided that your body can handle the intensity of the sport. It is great to continue exercising as a parent and all the way through adulthood. There are lots of elderly people who participate in lawn bowls and ping pong for a bit of exercise and competition.
How old is too old to play professional sports?
The recommended age to start moving away from playing professional sport is from 40 onwards. This is because our physical peak is around the age of 30. So, by the time we edge closer to 40, our physical abilities tend to decrease. As we get older, it takes more effort to complete physical activity and we can become more prone to injury.
You can steer away from professional sports around the age of 40, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop sport entirely. You could play at a more social level, where the competition isn’t as demanding. Or you can take up a new sport for fun that doesn’t have as much impact on your body. You shouldn’t be trying to start playing professional tennis at 40. But you could take up golf. There’s less running, but enough walking to keep you moving, and you still get to swing something to hit a ball.
It does all depend on the type of sport that you are partaking in. You could continue sports such as golf professionally until you are in your 60’s. But you should be constantly assessing how much of an impact it has on your body and your reasons for staying in a professional league.
Why playing sports from a young to older age is important
Playing different sports has benefits across your whole lifespan that you can take. At a young age, sport can teach important social and problem-solving skills. Unfortunately, research has found that 70% of youth stop participating in sport by 13. But, as you get older, sport can help keep you fit. Let’s look at the main reasons you should continue sport throughout your lifetime.
Reduced health issues
Playing sports for at least 60 minutes every two days reduces obesity and increases cardiovascular fitness. An early and consistent start with the right fitness practices creates better physical and mental growth. By starting sport young and continuing to participate as you get older, you can decrease your risk of lots of health issues.
Sporting events enable us to develop our social skills alongside working on our fitness. We get to interact with people on other teams while building relationships with those on our team. We learn to work together to achieve one goal. Sport can teach us the value of communication and getting along with others. You can also end up making lifelong friends from playing sport.
Practicing a healthy lifestyle
Sports plays a major role in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. As adults, it can become strenuous to maintain a weekly dedication to hours of perfecting a sport. Playing from a young age helps to create healthy habits that are beneficial to the present and future. Then you already have a routine in place that keeps you active every week. Remember, that running counts as a sport, so you could run multiple times a week. This is just one example of a sport that can be completed at any time, which makes it easy to continue as an adult.
Stop playing these sports after age 50
While there are sports you can play right through to an elderly age, there are others that you should stop by the age of 50.
Wrestling and boxing
Wrestling and boxing are two very extreme sports centred around taking blows to the body. Those that compete in these sports often experience major adrenaline rushes which encourages them to continue participating. But it’s important to stop by 50, otherwise, you could end up very damaged in the ring.
Rugby and football
Rugby and football are highly competitive sports requiring agility, speed, and serious cardiovascular strength. Teams go through intense training and at age 50 it can become difficult to endure countless days of tiresome practices. On top of this, it’s more sports that involve getting hit and ending up on the ground. At 50, you are at a much higher risk of injury and other damage if you play sports like rugby.
Lots of people like to go mountain biking to have fun and enjoy the view of nature. While travelling down extremely steep paths on little dirt tracks can be euphoric it is also very dangerous. When we get older, our centre of gravity shifts which can affect our balance. This can increase our risk of injury when mountain biking over the age of 50.
How sports contribute to physical and mental health
Playing sports that you love can positively increase all areas of health and wellbeing. Moving around while participating in sport releases endorphins throughout your body. This can help relieve stress and pain. It’s why doctors encourage you to participate in some kind of exercise if you are feeling overwhelmed or sad.
Playing sport can also help you build more confidence in yourself. The more you practice, the better you get at the sport, and naturally the more confidence you build.
Of course, there are many physical health benefits of playing sport throughout your life too. Building your stamina can improve your heart health and lung strength. You can maintain good physical condition in your later years.
If you’re looking for fun ways to exercise, have you considered how video games could help you lose weight? Is ghee a healthier option for your balanced diet? Vidar Australia offers even more health and lifestyle tips and advice through our informative blogs. We also stock P2 and KN95 masks and hand sanitiser to keep yourself safe and extra healthy!