Hobbies are a great way to relieve stress, stay mentally and physically active, and just have fun. For seniors, the benefits of hobbies can be even more meaningful. Many seniors are retired and are looking for activities to fill up their free time, or maybe an injury or illness has caused them to stop an old hobby and now they need something that fits their new lifestyle. Since January is National Hobby Month, it seems like a good time to talk about starting a new hobby!
If you need something to stay active but have some restrictions, there’s no need to worry as there are plenty of activities that allow you to move without much strain.
- Swimming is a great active hobby for everyone, but can be especially good for individuals who need a low impact workout. Some of the benefits of swimming is that it is incredibly gentle on your joints, improves heart health, increases flexibility, improves muscle strength and tone, and so much more! If you live in a warm climate and near water, this may be more easily accessible for you. However, if you’re in a land-locked area or a climate that has harsh winters, you will have to find a local gym or YMCA that offers swim time. You can also check out their swimming classes and join a group to help keep you active and social!
- Running or jogging can cause damage to your joints, but walking is a great alternative. It still moves your muscles and joints without putting too much pressure on your joints or cardiovascular system. The health benefits of walking are vast and it’s also a free activity!
- You might not think about gardening as a physical hobby, but it gets you outside and the maintenance can keep you moving! Whether you’re trying to maintain a beautiful yard with flowers and plants or trying to grow your own fruits and vegetables, it is a beneficial hobby all around. It is a great stress relievers, boosts the immune system, is good exercise, and may lower the risk of dementia. There are also plenty of gardening tools/equipment that are made to make things easier for seniors to work in their gardens.
Hobbies for your mind
- For those who have restricted mobility or are just looking for a relaxing activity to keep their minds focused, knitting or crocheting are good solutions. Due to the repetitive nature of knitting, it is often referred to as calming and/or meditative. As you fall into the relaxing pattern, it keeps your mind focused on your current project and give you a sense of pride or accomplishment with each completed project. This is also an activity that is perfect to do alone, but you can also be done with friends, family, or a knitting club.
- Did you know that one of the largest growing communities in the gaming world is senior citizens? Seniors can get together and play cards or board games, but the digital world of gaming can be just as entertaining, socially interactive, and fun. There are still plenty of games that can be played solo, like solitaire or a multitude of word games – both great to keep your mind working. But there are also social games that allow you to talk to other players without having to be in the same place. You could play a game with your family in another state or you could join an online community and meet new friends. Whether you play on a computer or video game console, there are thousands of games to choose from and millions of people to connect with, and you can do it all from the comfort of your own home.
There are SO many different types of hobbies in the world. This National Hobby Month, take some time to find a new one for you, something that peaks your interests and fits your lifestyle. Hobbies provide so many benefits to your physical and mental well-being; you could find yourself feeling more refreshed, entertained, and maybe even more social.