Middle age and beyond is not what it used to be for the recreation-minded. Older joints and all, lifelong athletes and late-to-the-game novices have many year-round options to keep moving, keep competing, and keep healthy.
For active middle-agers, stepping up the competition can provide new thrills and challenges to workouts - and a whole new social set to enjoy. But don’t be intimidated. Most competitive sports enjoyed by older athletes have an entry level for the novice and the wary, and a choice of abilities or pace for pretty much any duffer.
And finding such sports is easy, even in New England. Opportunities abound in winter, for example, with activities ranging from long-distance running to cross-country skiing, and even ice hockey, which has experienced a generations-spanning boom since the Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup last season.
The New England Senior Hockey League has 35 teams for over-40 skaters, and about a half-dozen more for the over-50 set among its 350 squads in Eastern Massachusetts, said Paul Laubenstein, who founded the league in 1982.
“It’s a good game to play, it’s active, and it’s a cardiovascular workout,’’ said Laubenstein, 56, who lives in Swampscott and still plays in what is billed as the largest independent adult hockey league in North America. “There are a lot of older players who want to keep up with it.’’
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