4 of the most beneficial hobbies for seniors
Seniors are generally defined as people aged 65 and over, which also means that they are likely to have retired. For those who have worked most of their lives, their job was probably a big part of who they are, so a sense of self can be lost early in retirement. This is where a hobby can step in to improve their quality of life. Here are four types of recreation that are beneficial for seniors.
# 1: gardening
Gardening is already a popular pastime among seniors, and for good reason. Gardening keeps you busy, which is beneficial for anyone of any age, and there is so much you can choose to grow in your garden: fruits, vegetables, flowers, and plants (delicious are a popular choice). It may not sound like it, but gardening provides light to moderate exercise, depending on the type of gardening you are doing. Repotting flowers and other plants using hand tools provides exercise for the hands and fingers, while digging large holes with shovels provides a full body workout. Gardening also offers mental health benefits, such as:
- Give a sense of accomplishment.
- Allow the care of something alive.
- Reduces stress levels.
Choosing to grow your own fruits and vegetables also helps you eat healthier.
# 2: cook
It can be related to gardening, especially if you are planning on growing food and herbs. The kitchen offers several mental health benefits, because cuisine is an integral part of many cultures as it is known to bring families and friends together. Creating something delicious also gives you a sense of accomplishment, and when you cook for yourself rather than ordering take-out, you’re more likely to choose healthier meal options.
# 3: Sports and other fitness activities
It’s important to stay physically active throughout the life cycle, but it’s especially important in the later years. A lot of people tend to think of it as “slowing down” as we get older, so exercise is not possible. This couldn’t be further from the truth, even as we “slow down” with age, exercise is still possible in the later years. Golf is a great example of a sport that seniors can participate in because it is low impact, but it works the whole body; It burns calories while allowing you to enjoy the outdoors; and it also keeps both your brain and your eyes sharp.
Other physical activities / sports well suited for older people include walking, cycling and yoga. Weight lifting and other strenuous activities are not necessary for older people to stay fit and can in fact be more dangerous. Of course, everyone is different, because there are people over 65 who are able to do these activities. Seniors who stay active are a great way to prevent them (as well as those who are not) from staying in bed and experiencing the related effects. Being in bed can lead to pressure sores, which is the most common injury in nursing homes, but can also occur in anyone lying in one place for an extended period.
# 4: creative and relaxing activities
Writing, drawing, painting, sculpting or even playing a musical instrument are all great forms of creative activity that are beneficial for seniors. Many seniors may have a creative hobby that they always wanted to try, but were unable to due to work or family obligations. Retirement is a great time to try out some of these creative opportunities.
Activities that promote relaxation are also good hobbies to adopt. Relaxation is good for both physical and mental health. Some examples of relaxing activities include reading, bird watching, meditation, and even creative activities that promote relaxation.
Another beneficial hobby for the elderly can be any hobby that promotes social interaction, many of the ones listed above can be enjoyed with other people. Social interaction is important later in life, as many older people tend to isolate themselves, which can negatively affect mental health.