When it comes to fitness, the emphasis is often on going to the gym. But many prefer to get their exercises, or at least supplement their gym workouts, by playing the sports they love. There are adult and senior leagues for all types of sports, from soccer and softball, to lower-impact sports like bowling and golf.
“I like the companionship and the competition with friends,” comments Mary Lou Thomas about the sports she plays. “It’s something you get together and do every week.”
Mary Lou has been bowling for more than 50 years. While bowling is less strenuous than other sports, there’s definitely a physical component to bowling. “You have to go up the alley with pretty good speed. … Everything is exercised – your arms and your legs,” Mary Lou comments.
But perhaps best of all, bowling can be done with family and friends of all ages. When her kids were in grade school, Mary Lou helped start a grade school league, and now she also enjoys bowling with her grandchildren. “They all enjoy it,” she comments, adding that one of her grandsons is on a bowling league, too.
Fresh Air and Friends
For people like Mary Lou and her husband, the fresh air and camaraderie of sports like golf are also appealing. She took up golf after their youngest child graduated from high school and golfs regularly with a group of friends.
“I do it for recreation, not so much the competitiveness. I just do it with my friends for fun,” she says.
Mary Lou says that the skills involved, as well as the exercise and friendship, draw her to the sport. A local golf course allowed golfers to walk the course and pull their own cart, she explains, which gave her additional exercise. “You get a workout when you play 18 holes even if you’re riding [in a golf cart],” she says, commenting that there’s always a walking component to golf in addition to swinging the club.
Like bowling, Mary Lou also enjoys golfing with her children and grandchildren. Her oldest grandson now competes in a high school team. “When we’d come down to San Diego, it was something that we did with the two boys (their two oldest grandsons). He liked it from the time he was little,” she comments.
What You Enjoy
When it comes to exercising, the secret is finding what suits you so that way you’ll stick with it in the long haul. As always, be sure to check with your doctor before attempting any new physical exercise.
“The good thing about golf and bowling is that you can do them your whole life. I’m 76,” says Mary Lou about low-impact sports.
It goes to show that friends, exercise, and a bit of good-natured competition make a great recipe.