If you’ve ever wondered if basketball is too taxing on your body as you get older, you’re not alone. While many people are concerned that older adults should not participate in fast-paced sports like basketball for fear of injury or ill health. No single activity is automatically ruled out as you get older; however, common sense should prevail, and you can still enjoy your basketball game within reason.
How late can I join a basketball team?
Can I start playing basketball when I’m 40 or older? Yes! So you’ve been thinking about joining a senior men’s team or simply trying out for basketball. You just want to play for fun because you’ve been watching basketball for years and have always wanted to play. This is an excellent way to get some exercise, and studies show that being active in sports makes you live longer, case and point. You may face a steep learning curve at this age, but don’t be discouraged. Many players in their 30s, 40s, and 50s return to basketball after a long absence.
It would be a good idea to play against average or below-average competition or players. When the competition is too fierce, it can be difficult to keep up, leaving you discouraged. The goal is to have fun while also being somewhat effective. Even in their forties, no one wants to do things they’re not very good at. Make sure you’re taking care of your body, and if something hurts, stop doing it right away.
Here’s how to get started as an adult basketball player:
- Go to a court and shoot around alone to re-establish muscle memory; we want to gradually restore your confidence. Work on your old moves a couple of times a week.
- Go for a jog to regain your endurance; this will help you when you return to the basketball court because you will be able to keep up and not pass out after just one game.
- Jumping rope is another excellent option; vary your jumps and practice your footwork. Increase the time to ten minutes nonstop. You may need to take breaks at first because it is difficult, but each workout will become easier. Jumping rope is a great way to transition to the playing field because it mimics many of the same moves on the court.
- Begin eating healthier and try to lose a few pounds of the extra weight you’ve gained. You might not believe it, but losing five pounds makes a huge difference when playing. You will feel lighter, and your body will have less weight to carry around on the basketball court, giving you more energy for more explosive movements.
- Push yourself as hard as you can while avoiding overdoing it. You should be aware of what your body can and cannot handle, and it is acceptable to take breaks.
After playing basketball, follow these two routines:
This is going to be extremely important to prevent injury, especially if you’re no longer a young buck; gone are the days when you could just walk onto the court without warming up and start playing. Let’s face it, no one enjoys stretching, at least not me, but keeping the muscles flexible will help to reduce muscle soreness.
It will also assist the muscles in regaining power output that has been lost due to inactivity over the years. This is advantageous for speed and strength movements on the court, as well as for improving performance. I don’t recommend stretching before playing because studies show it fatigues and weakens the muscle, especially if you haven’t been doing it consistently or frequently.
2. The Foam Roller
Don’t worry if you haven’t seen or heard of this gimmick. Sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of the passing of time and the passing of our lives. A foam roller is not a gimmick, but rather an effective tool used by athletes to reduce muscle tightness, soreness, and inflammation while increasing joint range of motion.
It can be used before and after playing basketball, or any sport for that matter. Using these tools, you can get back on the court sooner rather than later, and your body will thank you in the morning when it realizes after a night of basketball, it is simpler to get out of bed in the morning.
Why Should You Keep Playing Basketball No Matter Your Age?
I could sit here and list all of the advantages of basketball, but I’m sure you already know that exercise is good for both the body and the mind. But there is one thing I’d like to draw your attention to: a study of middle-aged adults who continued to play basketball or any other sport well past their prime.
Researchers looked at 900 former athletes and their brothers born between 1920 and 1965 to see who lived longer, healthier, and happier. The results showed that the athlete brother lived three years longer, ate healthier, and was happier than his brother.
Basketball is a great physical activity that allows you to exercise while having fun. Whatever your age, there is always a gym or court that will match your skill level. According to research, middle-aged basketball players live longer lives.
The amazing thing about basketball is that anyone can play. You can walk to a basketball court, start a game with whatever is available, and start playing. Anyone can jump in and play, temporarily forgetting about their worries. There is no other game like it. You meet people from all walks of life, and some of them become long-term friends.
Now that I’ve gotten you thinking outside the box, there are many basketball players in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and even 60s who continue to play. They have friends their own age; with whom they continue to play. Senior men’s leagues are available for men aged 40 and up. I’ve also never seen anyone on a court who isn’t allowed to play because they’re much older. In my experience, older basketball players play hard, make fewer mistakes due to their basketball experience, are physically strong, and play team basketball.