While it’s generally accepted that every pensioner should take some form of exercise, it can be difficult to decide which activity will suit you best. However, the Sports Council has recently conducted extensive research into the subject and has identified the two most appropriate for pensioners to pursue as triathlon and darts.
Triathlon – swimming, cycling and running – exercises every muscle group in the body, but is extremely time-consuming, requires a considerable amount of specialised equipment and carries a significant risk of injury and death.
Darts, however, has none of these drawbacks, and while slightly less physically beneficial than triathlon, does have the added attraction of improving eye-hand co-ordination, mental arithmetic, social interaction and the understanding of aerodynamics.
In an average game, the distance covered from oche to board and back totals some 12.6 miles, and although this is mostly done at a steady walking pace, more than 6,300 calories can be burned off in the process, even accounting for the 9,800 calories probably ingested via pints of beer and large pork pies. With an average dart weight of 22 grammes, the typical player will lift the equivalent of 360 kilos during a game, and this strengthens biceps, triceps and wild ceps if you carry a basket of mushrooms.
Darts can be enjoyed in thousands of purpose-built venues around the country (these are sometimes known as ‘pubs’) and apart from a loose fitting shirt embroidered with your darting nickname, no special clothing or equipment is required. In fact, the runner-up in the 2012 Pensioner Grand Prix used a set of darts made from knitting needles and was wheeled to the oche on a Hostess trolley.