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5 Ways to Remain Active in Sports Throughout Life

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Different phases of life bring about changes in our priorities. As a result, our exercise routines can sometimes take a backseat. Here's how to stay active throughout life.
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As children, we were often funneled into popular team sports such as football, soccer, basketball and baseball where we learned sportsmanship and other team-related skills. Yet, few of us continue to play these sports past high school. Once the daily grind of the five-day workweek starts, the opportunities to remain active in these sports are even further diminished.

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Competitive baseball players can always use their skills playing for the company’s slow-pitch softball team, and there are competitive basketball and soccer leagues available for the young and fit. But eventually, the demands of work and family cause many to give up sports, relegating us to spectators of the games we once played in our youth.

This isn’t the way it has to be. Here are five ways to stay active in sports throughout your life:

1. Stay physically fit.

Man-and-woman-jumping.

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The biggest misconception is that playing a sport is a substitute for a regular fitness regimen. Even when you’re young, attempting to play your way into shape gets more problematic as the years go by. The key to maintaining the strength and health to play your favorite sport throughout your life is a regular fitness program, which includes weightlifting, stretching and some type of cardiovascular exercise.

This will allow you to play at a higher level and to avoid injuries that can cause a prolonged absence from your favorite sport.

2. Pick a sport that can be played at any age.

Even if you only played traditional team sports as a child, and continued to play it through your early adulthood, it is never too late to pick up a sport that you will be able to play throughout your life. Go to any golf course and you will see players ranging from small children to the elderly. The same is true at tennis courts where children are taking lessons on a court next to older couples playing a doubles match.

3. Proper instruction is worth the time and money.

If you’ve already taken the time, effort and expense to stay in shape (and maybe even purchased equipment necessary to play your favorite sport), if possible, it’s definitely worth your while to get professional coaching, even if it is for a short period of time.

The key to continuing to play your favorite sport throughout your life is a regular fitness program, which includes weightlifting, stretching and some type of cardiovascular exercise.

Skill sports such as tennis, skiing, golf or fencing require learning and refining muscle memory. Even professional athletes develop bad habits that are detected and eventually corrected by coaches. Developing and reinforcing improper techniques can lead to frustration and possible injury.

4. Choose a family-friendly sport.

Dad-and-son-kayaking.

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A full workweek can, unfortunately, force a choice between spending non-working hours with your family and playing your favorite sport. The good news is that pursuing a family-friendly sport can eliminate this choice and will also promote family harmony. Better yet, choose a destination sport like skiing and you can turn a favorite pastime into a family vacation.

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The key to continuing to play your favorite sport throughout your life is a regular fitness program, which includes weightlifting, stretching and some type of cardiovascular exercise.

5. Keep your perspective.

Age catches up to everyone. Performance is destined to decline gradually with age despite the best attempts to stay in shape and play a sport regularly. Just relax and enjoy being able to get out and play!