Sports Column: The sport with no age limit

Published 8:19 am Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By LAUREN SEXTON | Sports Reporter

Over time, our beloved sports cause us aches and pains that will last us a lifetime. We believe that just because our age increases, our athleticism will decrease as well. I think that might not be the case and I think that some doctors might agree with me. Just because you can throw a football like you used to or knock down a basket like ten years ago, there is still a way to play sports and be athletic without being bound to a treadmill.

One of the best parts of playing a sport is the healthy competition that comes along with exercise. As teenagers and kids, we don’t completely see the benefits that sports have on us until we are much older and can’t figure out why we can’t eat as much as we used to and not gain weight. Although the days of being a defensive end or point guard might be behind you, there are low-impact sports that can give you the adrenaline rush.

In the past four or so years, I have lived in Alabama, I have noticed that swimming competitively isn’t as big as it is in the northern parts of the country. Swimming is a prime example of a sport you can still do from the time you are eight years old to 88 years old. When done correctly, swimming can be beneficial to a person’s joints and work out most of the body’s muscles all at once. 

Swimming is a great workout for most people because the body moves against the resistance of the water. It helps maintain a healthy body weight, lungs and heart, along with a healthy diet. Hirofumi Tanaka, a professor of kinesiology and director of the Cardiovascular Aging Research Lab at the University of Texas, discusses that swimming is the ideal exercise for people with osteoarthritis, for whom weight-bearing exercise can be excruciatingly painful. While in his research swimming decreases arterial stiffness, a risk factor for heart trouble. More of his research has been linked to swimming lower blood pressure in people who struggle with hypertension. 

Swimming is not just for people of one specific age. It is a great opportunity for young kids to learn how to swim and continue well into them being senior citizens. While no sport is completely injury-proof, it does come along with many beneficial qualities. Maybe it is time to dip your toes in the water and see what the splashing is all about.