Which Sport at What Age?

At the same time, don’t forget that a person has both a
chronological and biological age, and there can be a difference between these

2-4 years

• Fun and unstructured
games ensure that children remain active

• Basic activities such
as walking, running, climbing, jumping, playing ball and riding a tricycle are
perfect for supporting balance and coordination, as well as improving muscular

• Swimming can also be
started in this period. Swimming benefits the whole body.

5-7 years

• Sports should be of
the game variety

• Activities should not
last for too long, and children should have time to rest

• Individual activities
such as bike riding and skating can be focused on in order to increase

• To develop balance,
skill, speed, strength and reflexes, sports like running, jumping and
gymnastics are great to focus on at these ages

• Rope pulling, pole
climbing and single and double foot hopping are great activities that encourage
working with your own body weight

• The best sport for
increasing strength and aerobic capacity in this age group is swimming

8-9 years

• This is an age when
disciplined sports can be started, under the supervision of expert coaches.
This is also the perfect age to work on strength, balance, flexibility, speed
and rhythm

• At this age a child
can focus on more than just one branch of sports, as this will help support
development in different areas. Participating in a variety of sports also helps
prevent injuries to bones, muscles or joints that could occur as a result of
repetitive activities

• A child’s activity
level and strength can be improved through individual sports such as tennis and
table tennis, gymnastics (though not competitive), climbing, bicycling, running
and skiing

• Talents and abilities
can be improved by playing team sports. Team sports also help encourage healthy
social relationships and emotional wellbeing, and teach a child to supervise
his or her own movements

• Different styles of
swimming can be learned at this age

10-12 years

• Between these ages
more can be learned about game rules and tactics, and competitive sports can be
played more easily

• In order to support
physical development and growth, as well as motor skills, activities need to be
more systematic and planned at these ages

• Due to the fact that
physiological systems are not yet fully developed, exercises should not involve
too much weight-bearing, although some repetitive exercises can be performed

13-15 years

• Working with weights,
long distance running, wrestling and sports requiring a high level of skill is
not appropriate for this age group

• Team sports such as
football, basketball and volleyball, which support friendship, imagination and
teamwork, are perfect for this age group

16-19 years

• At this stage a young
person has a level of ability and physical development close to that of an
adult. A person of this age can pursue any sport he or she is interested in

• Sports such as
taekwando and karate can be started during this period. These teach both
discipline and respect for others

• Strength exercises can
be performed, such as weight-lifting or boxing

The 20s

• Bone structure is very
strong; these are actually the years when one’s bone structure as a whole is
strongest. Fitness can be carried to its highest level

• Weight training can be
undertaken, supervised by experts, with the goal of improving both muscular and
skeletal strength

• Team sports or aerobic
exercises are perfect for the cardiovascular system at this age

The 30s

• The metabolism begins
to slow down and losing weight becomes more difficult. People should pay as
much attention to the exercise they do as to what they are eating

• The greatest loss of
muscle is experienced in the lower half of the body, which is the part that
needs the most exercise. Cardio exercises should be focused on, and weight
training undertaken

• When exercising, too
much routine should be avoided. Activities should be altered regularly. Keep in
mind that bicycling is one of the best things you can do for your joints at
this age

• Stair climbing and
swimming are ideal exercises

The 40s

• At this time exercise
can help prevent the weakening of muscles and bones, and can also be an
important way to slow down the aging process through the release of hormones
into the bloodstream

• Regular exercise that
does not tire out the heart or respiratory system is perfect; the duration and
speed can always be increased if found insufficient

  • A fast walk
every day, a 45-minute run, regular swimming or bike riding are all perfect
activities for this age group

• Weight training
develops muscles and helps protect the skeletal system

• If one is starting
sports for the first time at this age, one should first check with a doctor to
ensure all systems are healthy and ready for exercise. Exercise programs should
be designed individually, and by experts

• Stretching and warming
up before exercising are very important in terms of helping guard against

The 50s

• Bones and muscles
increasingly lose their density and strength. Lack of activity at this time can
have a major effect on quality of life

• There can be some lack
of balance and stiffening of muscles observed at this age. Weight training can
help strengthen muscles and increase bone density

• In post-menopausal
women a drop in estrogen can cause heart problems, while bone density is
reduced. The reduction of bone density means the risk of osteoporosis is
increased, so calcium intake must be sufficient and exercise is very important.

The 60s

• Although the muscles
have lost some of their original strength and muscle fibers have shrunk there
is still potential for fibers to be developed. Light weight training can be
very beneficial for bone and muscle strength

• During this time a
lack of exercise slows down the body and causes more muscle loss, weakening the
whole system. Joints may lose their flexibility, or stop working altogether,
and the risk of heart attack is greater. But an active lifestyle can help
prevent all of this

• Stretching exercises
before and after sports can increase general flexibility

• Swimming is, as during
all other ages, one of the healthiest sports you can do to protect your entire

Bicycling does not place
too much strain on the joints as the bulk of the body weight is distributed
between seat and pedals. In fact, the circular motions and rhythmic movement
can help strengthen cartilage. Since bicycling makes it possible to exercise
for a long time at low intensity it is an ideal sport for burning fat. For
people with serious weight problems, bicycling is a better choice than running
or jogging.

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