The Canadian Snowbird Association (CSA) is always coming up with new and different ideas about how us retirees could better spend our time, whether it’s travel, sports or other hobbies and, in the process, make new friends and acquaintances.
We’re considered snowbirds because we normally spend our Canadian winters down south. We’ve received their informative magazine every few months for the last eleven years, even though we were not technically members of the association. We got our copies because we bought our travel insurance through one of their affiliate travel medical partners.
We like getting the CSA magazine. It’s full of extremely informative information which affects our travel plans, our understanding of US tax laws, 8840 forms and the like. Being a snowbird is more than just being someone who heads south for 5-6 months, give or take, so they also include timely articles about health, social life, finance, and tips on staying active and vibrant. We believe they are truly advocates of a retirement lifestyle that’s full of great opportunities – even if you don’t head south for the entire Canadian winter.
So, What’s All That Got To Do With the Topic of This Blog?
Well, simply put, they carried a story recently about some different sporting activities we retirees might consider participating in which could not only keep us in top shape but encourage social connection as well. Maybe some of the activities aren’t so new to you, but we were surprised to see some different things we hadn’t thought of doing.
Just for the record, the following physical fitness ideas are not just for the over-50 crowd – anyone, any age can join in!
The benefits derived from what many would consider an ‘easy’ sport are as follows. Hand-eye coordination is essential in aiming if you want to hit the target, let alone get a bull’s eye! You need physical strength to draw back the bow in order to fire your arrows. And you must have control of your balance while doing all this. Memory also plays a part as you’ll need to think about how and what you did when you hit a particular part of the target, especially if the game is set up with goals one has to achieve in order to win. Check out Archery Canada for more information and clubs near you.
Walking, as most of us are aware, is one of the best low impact physical activities a person can do. Add some walking poles to the process and you’ll benefit from not only a good walk but get an even more total-body workout. Your heart, bones, coordination and mental attitude will also benefit from the added challenge of using the poles as you stride along. Walk with a friend or in a group and you’ll also get to socialise too, alleviating any loneliness you may be experiencing!
Tai Chi, Karate and Aikido are just three lower impact martial arts that most older persons can take up. These three martial arts can be adapted to your physical capabilities, personal preference and skill level. None of these martial arts are strenuous or fast-moving which makes them more suitable for the senior practitioner. All of them contribute to balance, contemplation and concentration.
In this variation of regular soccer, the game is played where participants walk instead of run and play with smaller-sized nets. The rules are as follows:
- No running allowed
- No body contact
- Kicking the ball above head height isn’t allowed
- No heading the ball
- The game is self-refereed
- Keep the competitive aspect to a minimum
- Focus on fun and making friends
What we like about these four sports is not only the physical exercise aspect they provide, but more importantly, the social side that accompanies them. So many retirees and seniors find themselves alone or lonely, especially if their job was their life, or perhaps after a spouse dies or moves on. Finding ways to get out and meet new friends is often via a recreational activity. And these are perfect to do just that.