Physical activity is essential for preventing and managing chronic health issues. Physical activity is also good for the brain, and researchers suggest that aerobic exercise protects the part of the brain that controls memory and learning. Many people find that exercising with others is a good motivator to stay active, and joining a seniors’ softball team is a popular way to do that.
Senior Softball Leagues
Senior Softball USA (SSUSA) is an organization, started in 1988 that serves as the governing body for senior softball teams across the country. SSUSA reports that there are more than 1.5 million active senior softball players today.
People join softball teams to be social, have fun, and get exercise. The fact that they can still be active is reason enough to join. Playing softball has many benefits to our physical and mental health.
Whole Body Workout
Playing softball involves throwing, catching, and moving. Think about all the muscles involved in these actions. The arms, hands, fingers, hips, knees, and ankles are all involved, and moving them in a low impact way can keep them flexible. Catching and throwing use many small muscles, making them stronger and improving coordination. All of these benefits are in addition to the aerobic conditioning from moving the large muscles, burning calories, and building cardiovascular health.
Improved Mental Health
In addition to the benefits that aerobic exercise provides your brain, other factors come into play as well. Being part of a team can decrease the feeling of isolation that many older adults experience. Exercise releases endorphins, which make us feel good, reduce stress and improve sleep.
Playing on a softball team is fun, plain and simple. Everyone can find a position that suits them, whether it’s in the heart of the action — pitching and catching — or the relatively relaxed outfield. Winning a game is always enjoyable, of course, but losing as part of a team is never as painful as losing alone.
The Bottom of the Ninth
Senior softball is a safe, fun, and healthy way to be physically active later in life. Before starting a new exercise routine, older adults should check with their health provider though, especially if they have a health condition.
All across the country, active seniors are playing in softball leagues. For more information about senior softball teams near you, check out Senior Softball USA.