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So do you think you “still got it?” Maybe you grew up being competitive at school, in sports, amongst friends or in your career. Or maybe you just sat on the sidelines. But whether you consider yourself an ambitious person or not, there are many benefits to fostering that mentality. A competitive spirit drives you to improve at some skill or task, and ultimately present the best version of yourself.
Competition contributes to a person’s physical, emotional, cognitive and social well-being—regardless if it’s a serious, intense event or just a fun, friendly match. It also helps to encourage lifelong fitness and active lives for seniors. At a time in life when people start to slow down, competitions can offer tangible proof that you “still got it.”
Competition also helps you to:
Each year at GreenFields, we celebrate competition – and the fun that goes with it. We realize the importance of competition and fitness, and of motivating seniors to lead a healthy lifestyle. The annual GreenFields Classic draws almost 100 participants who compete in 20 events that challenge both body and brain. Events include a free throw contest, home run derby, bocce ball, archery, horseshoes, brain games and more. Residents with all ability and interest levels are encouraged to participate independently or as a team. It’s a great way to get exercise and maintain your overall health, but for many, the best part of the Classic is simply participating and doing something fun.
Serious competitors can also find other events outside of GreenFields. An annual, longstanding local contest is the Six County Senior Games, supported by the Illinois Park and Recreation Association. Hundreds of participants compete in 16 different events held at park district facilities around the Chicago area, over a period of 15 days in the summer.
The National Senior Games Association (NSGA) promotes the National Senior Games—a multi-sport competition for adults ages 50+ in the U.S. It is held every two years, aligned with the summer Olympics. The NSGA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the benefits of competitive sports, physical fitness and active aging for adults ages 50+. Competitions are held in most states, including Illinois.
You can also find senior-specific competitions for sports like golf, chess, tennis or swimming, or participate in open contests like running classics and register for the senior age group.
It’s never too late to get competitive. You might discover a new talent, continue to stay active or simply add some fun to your life. It’s not always about winning or losing. Friendly competitions also provide an opportunity to enjoy time with others and cheer on your friends.