Physiotherapy Q&A : How do I get back into sport in my mid fifties?

I am inspired to start up some new sports but don’t know what to try. I am in my early 50’s and haven’t done regular sport since my 20’s. I really want to try a range of sports but don’t know what to start with to minimise my risk of injury, do you have any suggestions?

It is difficult to say exactly what you should try without knowing your medical history and any previous health problems you have had but there are some general rules you can follow. Sport and exercise is beneficial for you at any age but a long period of not exercising means you have to approach this in a careful manner. Start with no-impact or low-impact forms of exercise to limit the stress on your joints, such as swimming or cycling. Start with exercising for only short periods and gradually build up the time that you feel comfortable exercising for. You should generally work up to a point where you become a little out of breath and feel your heart pumping a little faster than normal and should not over-exert yourself  to the point where you feel uncomfortable. 

A good warm up to gently loosen your muscles and increase your circulation before starting your exercise is also really important to minimise your risk of injuries. If you are unsure of how to approach this or need some advice, do speak to a fitness instructor if using a gym or see your physiotherapist for a one-to-one session to tailor the right warm up and exercise regime for you.

Page last reviewed on 27/06/2013