Seniors are often faced with too much downtime that can very quickly turn into boredom, which is something that no one wants to experience. Many of us tend to think that healthy aging depends only on physical activity and a good diet plan. Recent studies have indicated that social and mental activities tend to have an effect on a person’s life expectancy as well.
With that being said, we’re here to share with you some of the best hobbies and sports a senior can start participating in today to prevent living a static lifestyle and avoid isolation.
Activities such as drawing, sculpting, and painting are extremely rewarding and offer a variety of benefits. Creating art has been linked with lower stress levels and heightened mental clarity. Art can also give you a break from your usual day to day thoughts by offering you an outlet for your creativity.
Creating art is also a great way to encourage and enhance creative thinking. Author of the incredible book “Keep Your Brain Alive: 83 Neurobic Exercises to Help Prevent Memory Loss and Increase Mental Fitness”, Dr. Lawrence Katz, has found that there’s a very strong correlation between the decline in mental capacity and the lack of communication between brain cells.
The term “neurobics” was coined by Dr. Katz to describe any and all brain exercises that utilize your senses to enhance your mental abilities. And unlike algebra, there’s no right or wrong when it comes to art, so the sky is literally the limit to how far you can take your brain’s creativity.
Were you aware that there’s such a thing known as art therapy? This ingenious form of therapy uses art to help people express their feelings artistically. Art therapy can also help stimulate the brain and stir up memories. So all in all, art can help you discover new versions of yourself that you didn’t even know existed.
Taking Dancing Classes
Dancing is an activity that can help seniors exercise and socialize at the same time. Plus, it’s just fun in general. Dancing can also help seniors achieve great balance and gait, which reduces the chances of immobility and falls. It can also lower the risk of dementia.
It has also been found that dancing can significantly improve your cardiovascular health, which decreases the risk of developing a serious heart disease. Dancing also promotes good posture, motor performance, and reaction times.
Golf is one of the most popular sports all over the world. It’s especially popular amongst elders. After all, we’re all familiar with the stereotype that golf is an old man’s sport. But there is more to golf than just a sport to keep an old man busy during retirement.
Playing golf has many noteworthy benefits for both the youth and the elderly. First of all, golfing can help you burn a lot of calories. Depending on the amount of equipment you’re carrying and also the type, of course, you’re playing on, playing gold can help you burn around 1500-2000 calories.
Another reason why playing golf is an ideal activity for the elderly to participate in is because it’s a low-impact, leisurely sport. There’s zero contact or vigorous movements involved whatsoever, so there’s very little risk of fatigue or injury. The impact on joints is also very minimal in golf.
Apart from providing a full-body workout, golfing is also a great stimulate to your eyes and brain because you get to be experiencing the outdoors, and not just any outdoors, you’re in a massive field of lush greenery and absolute beauty.
Learning How to Cook
Ever noticed the sense of achievement that you get from cooking a mouthwatering meal that all your friends and family seem to enjoy? Whether cooking is a long-time activity that you’ve been dabbling in or something you’re just beginning to learn, it’s a great pastime activity.
Cooking can also keep the brain of a senior active and healthy as it usually involves reading and measurements. Seniors can also spend their time coming up with meal plans and learning new recipes. You can even couple cooking and gardening for your own self-grown, self-made meal.
Archery is a highly recommended sport for the elderly. It’s actually one of the main sports that take place in the National Senior Games. Contrary to what most people believe, you don’t require movie superhero strength to shot a bow. There are bows for just about anyone of any size and any body strength. The only thing that can stop you when it comes to archery is the limitations you set for yourself but you’re age in this sport is truly just a number.
It also happens to be a decent workout. Retrieving your arrows takes some walking if you’re a decent distance from your target. When you pull back on your bow you use your arms, shoulders and upper back muscles.
Gardening and Landscaping
Gardening is an excellent way to spend your time outdoors and inhale fresh air. There are many obvious benefits when it comes to gardening such as self-supplied diet and improved health, but let’s take a look at other benefits that you may not think gardening can help you achieve.
When you plant your own vegetables and fruits, you don’t only get to save some pretty pennies that would have otherwise been squandered in grocery stores, but you also get to burn calories and strengthen your muscles, especially your hand muscles.
Gardening also allows you to be present and aware of your surroundings. As a result, you’ll find yourself appreciating nature more than ever. You also get a feeling of self-satisfaction and better self-esteem knowing that the greenery in your garden is a result of your own sweat.
There are countless elderly communities that provide seasonal gardening classes as well. Such classes teach the elders the basics of planting, watering, fertilizing, and harvesting. There have also been studies that suggest that inhaling mycobacterium vaccae, which is a healthy bacteria that live in the soil, can help reduce anxiety and increase the levels of serotonin in the body.
The benefits of yoga for the elderly are pretty much the same as those for anyone. In a nutshell, practicing yoga can help increase muscle tone and strength, improve your mood, and help you achieve better balance. It also reduces stress and hypertension. Most senior care communities tend to offer yoga classes, so go ahead and book one right now.
Yoga is heavily centered around breathing exercises, so you should expect your lung capacity to increase. Moreover, doing yoga helps promote ideal body posture and help you get better sleep.
Playing an Instrument
At some point in our lives, we all dreamed of being rockstars. Well, it’s never too late to learn an instrument. After all, all your favorite rock bands are all elders now, from the Deep Purples to the Led Zeppelins. Go ahead and get that guitar you’ve always wanted and blow the roof off the place.
Music, in general, has the ability to change your whole outlook on life and help you have better social interactions. Music has been linked to increased positive emotions and enhanced moods. There are studies that prove that music can help in getting better quality sleep, diminishing pain, and improving recovery time.
Apart from performing your duty in helping save the bees which ultimately helps the environment, you can gain some delicious rewards in the form of honey. Honey provides some amazing health benefits in terms of nutrients and antioxidants helping you have a healthier diet. Beekeeping doesn’t require a lot of physical strength and isn’t as demanding as having an actual pet which makes it an excellent hobby for the elderly. If you combine beekeeping with gardening then you’ll see even more benefits considering that bees are some of the best pollinators.
Reading and Writing
Getting lost in a good novel by your favorite author is an incomparable feeling that can get rid of all of your stress. Reading is a great way to keep your eyes and brain extremely active.
Writing is also a great way to keep a senior’s mind up and running. Whether you’re documenting your own life by keeping a journal or spending your time doing some creative writing, you’ll find that you’re so involved and in the zone, that time passes by unknowingly.
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