The Best Healthy Hobbies for Retirees
Fun doesn't have an age limit. No matter our mobility level, it's important to stay mentally active and forever curious. Our brain, much like other parts of our body, stays stronger and healthier the more we use it. The importance of staying active and social as we age has been proven time and time again and can be achieved with simple steps. For those perhaps about to enter retirement or maybe are looking after seniors, we've created a list of activities and suggestions for keeping healthy.
Low impact, relaxing, and great for heart health. Swimming is the PERFECT exercise as we begin to slow down. As your joints have taken all the wear and tear of adult life, reward them with some peaceful moments floating in a pool or in the sea. They'll thank you!
To the outsider, yoga might seem an activity purely for the young and very flexible. Not true! There's no age limit with yoga, and there are many positions where seniors can try to improve their physical and mental wellness.
Video Games & Apps
Believe it or not, mass-produced video games have been part of public life for fifty years! This being the case, more and more seniors are turning to video games and mobile apps to keep entertained and mentally active. Better yet, some timeless classics like Scrabble, Sudoku, Yahtzee, and crosswords galore are available nowadays in the palm of our hands.
What would humankind be without our love of art? It doesn't matter if you picked up a pencil or paintbrush at seven or seventy. Participating in art is a hugely enriching experience. It's calming, meditative, and sometimes challenging. The sense of expression found through art can't be topped.
Similarly, photography gives us another beautiful way to express ourselves and gives us a good reason to get outside and capture the majesty of the world. With the advances in digital technology these past twenty years, it's never been easier or cheaper too!
Tai chi, sometimes also known as "Shadowboxing," is a Chinese martial art practiced for defense training, health benefits, and meditation. While this won't have seniors performing stunts like Bruce Lee (probably not advisable), it can provide users with the skills to embrace the mind, body, and spirit. It's essentially 'meditation in motion' and great for those with joint issues.
Crafting encompasses a huge array of activities, but in its essence, it's a way of painting, building, constructing, knitting, or sewing your way to an attractive end result. It engages fine motor skills, and concentration and can be as difficult as you want it to be! Crafting is also an excellent way of spending quality time with the family, as young and old can dive into projects together and come out with new treasured memories.
When you think of sports, you might think of brutal football tackles or high-pitched screams from referees or officials. Well, for seniors, there are tons of great sporting activities that can be slow-paced and relaxing yet still give you that much outdoor time and exercise. Golf, swimming, racquet sports, or weekend senior soccer can offer endless ways for seniors to enjoy a good bit of healthy competition!
Joining a club can be a great way for seniors to partake in conversation and socializing while doing something they love. There is a club for everyone out there; reading, drawing, photography, chess; anything you think of can be found! Socializing is often one of the biggest things seniors miss once they retire, so clubs can drastically reduce loneliness and depression.
Next up, let's get musical! Music has been shown to decrease depression and anxiety, not to mention it's super accessible, with countless streaming services offering low prices for almost endless musical choices. If streaming isn't for you, the physical record industry has been booming over the last few years, making record collecting pretty trendy again!
We all need to eat, so why not improve your cooking skills after you've retired? All the complicated recipes you never had time to try can become your new projects. Cooking has been shown to reduce anxiety and increase focus. Fine motor skills also get better, and it's not a surprise with all that chopping and dicing!
Lastly, perhaps we can turn your attention to the community. Life can seem so fast sometimes, and problems arise on our doorstep that we can't always control. A popular activity for retirees is to give back to the local community. You could volunteer at the local fire station or small town business, host fundraisers, or even help clean up the streets of litter. The community always has something rewarding to do that could use an extra pair of hands.
There you have it; 10 unique retirement activities for you to dive into! Remember, age is just a number, and as long as you keep yourself healthy and active, you can do anything you desire. Whether you're taking Tai Chi or joining a few clubs, we hope your retirement brings you a new sense of peace and pleasure!
About the author
Sam Walker-Smart is a British culture journalist currently based in Bristol. His work has appeared in CLASH, The Huffington Post, Vinyl Me Please, Barcelona Metropolitan, Little White Lies, and other outlets. He enjoys writing about inclusivity in gaming, fun for seniors, educational apps, and entertainment for all. In his spare time, he enjoys weird folklore, sad songs, and good beer.