One of the best ways to continue living an active lifestyle as a senior is to remain physically active. When our bodies are fit, they can better combat symptoms that are often associated with age, such as muscle and join pain, a lack of energy and reduced flexibility. 

In fact, the NSW Government's Office of Sports and Recreation says, "Research shows that older adults with active lifestyles are often as healthy as less active people aged 15 years younger."

Rather than the usual recommendation of going for walks or gardening (which are still great ideas), what regular sporting activities are available around your Newcastle retirement village?

Golf

Golf is a popular sport among the elderly not only for its calm, competitive nature, but also for its many physical benefits. Playing golf gets you outdoors and walking, helps you burn calories by carrying clubs, and tones your muscles with every swing. 

Located near Newcastle's centre is the Merewether Golf Club, around 30 minutes from the Sugar Valley Lifestyle Estate. You don't have to be a member to play on the course, as the general public have access most days of the week for a reasonable fee. There is also a Pro Shop on-site stocking a wide range of equipment, as well as a bar and bistro that offers both lunches and dinners. 

Bowls

Lawn bowls is another immensely popular sport with senior citizens. It's also an easy game to get into if you have never played before, as the mechanics are easy to learn and is less demanding than certain other sports. It's still outdoors and physically active, however, meaning it will help you get fit. On top of that, the Victoria government's Better Health channel says that it also improves hand-eye coordination and confidence, in addition to giving you a sense of community and sportsmanship. 

There are a number of clubs around Newcastle that offer both social games and memberships. These include the Charlestown, Lowlands and Lambton Bowling Clubs. 

Weight training

Though the idea of weight training may conjure up an image of hulking body builders, it can actually be a gentle activity for seniors as well. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), elderly people should participate in strength training to improve symptoms of arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes, obesity, back pain and even depression. Improved fitness is also great for your heart.

There are numerous gyms located within Newcastle, each with their own membership programs and fitness equipment. If you want to join a class, the NSW government runs regular 'Active Over 50' classes in multiple regions across the city. These are gentle activities specifically designed for seniors.

What sports should seniors participate in?