Parkour Could Be the Answer to Fewer Injuries
One of the greatest risks seniors face as they age is being hurt in a fall. Because joints weaken over time, a simple fall can quickly turn into a serious medical complication. Enter parkour. Training in the sport can teach seniors how to land better, minimizing the chances of injury. While touted as a sport for younger people, parkour can have numerous benefits for seniors as well.
What Is Parkour?
Parkour, at first glance, looks like a series of running, climbing and jumping movements where participants, known as traceurs, leap over some surprising obstacles. While this is a major part of parkour, particularly in competitive events, at the very core it’s about balance and stability. While practitioners in the sport do spend a lot of time in the air, they also learn how to land, or rather how to fall, with minimal impact and decreased risk to their bodies.
How Can Parkour Help Seniors?
Falls are a serious risk for seniors, even proving to be fatal in some instances. According to the CDC, fall-related deaths in people aged 65 and up increased by 30 percent between 2007 and 2016, a period of only 9 years.
Taking a spill can also seriously diminish a senior’s quality of life, rendering them immobile during recovery. After recovery, it’s normal to be scared and choose to restrict activity in order to prevent another fall. Parkour can help mitigate this fear by teaching seniors how to land in a way that minimizes injury, so they can remain active.
What Age Group Is Parkour Recommended For?
Parkour is recommended for any age group. However, seniors looking to learn the sport should look for classes tailored to those age 50 and up. These classes, rather than focusing on the jumping, climbing and running aspects, aim to strengthen the body. Participants in the class focus on learning new maneuvers that mimic encounters they may have in their daily lives. While it won’t eliminate all risks of injury, it can help at unexpected times.
If you’re considering taking up Parkour, it’s important to speak with a physician first to determine any limitations or risks to your health. Once you get the all-clear, look to see if there are any classes in your area. If not, consider petitioning a local gym or recreation center to start one.
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