10 Healthy Hobbies for Older Adults

Jun 9, 2016

10 Healthy Hobbies for Older Adults

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People look forward to retirement their entire lives, and when it finally comes, they are often faced with a lot more spare time than they expected, and spare time can get boring if it’s not taken advantage of. To combat the boredom that’s bound to come along with too much down time, seniors should pick up hobbies to keep them happy, healthy and occupied. Here’s a list of ten healthy hobbies all older adults should try out.

10 Healthy Hobbies For Seniors

1. Exercise Classes

The importance of seniors remaining active as they age is undeniable, but all too often, seniors let their health slip due to a lack of physical activity. So, one of the healthiest hobbies a senior can have is participating in an exercise class! Not only do exercise classes get seniors up and moving, it provides an area for seniors to socialize and bond over a similar interest. Another great thing about taking an exercise class is that there’s something for everyone! Here is a list of a few of the exercise classes that seniors can participate in:

  • Swimming
  • Pilates/Yoga
  • Biking
  • Aerobics

Seniors can stay happy and healthy if they choose to make exercise classes one of their favorite hobbies!

2. Gardening

There’s nothing quite like the great outdoors, and aging shouldn’t prevent a senior from getting outside and breathing in some fresh air. Gardening can be beneficial for seniors in many ways; it can be physically active, it gets seniors outside and seniors can take pride in being able to eat whatever they grow! Gardening also provides something for seniors to take care of, so gardens can help them feel needed.

3. Walking

Sound a little too simple? Well, don’t underestimate the health benefits of walking for at least 30 minutes per day. This is a great and active hobby for seniors that may not be suited for an exercise class, sports teams or other activities that require more intense physical activity. Walking can even be a social activity for seniors. Walking is a great time for seniors to catch up with friends and family, and even meet and talk to other seniors that are interested in getting active too!

4. Cooking

Cooking may be a long time, favorite activity of a senior, or it may be something they are just beginning to learn. Either way, cooking can serve as a great past time for seniors. Aside from the obvious benefits of cooking, like getting to eat all the yummy food that is being made, cooking keeps a senior’s brain active and healthy. Cooking requires measurements, reading, and more!

5. Crafting

Crafting? Yes – virtually any form of arts and crafts is a great and healthy hobby for seniors! Whether a senior chooses to knit, paint, create scrapbooks or any other form of crafting, arts and crafts are a phenomenal way for a senior to spend their spare time. Seniors can choose to do this on their own, or stay social and work on crafts with a friend or family member.

6. Volunteering

A popular healthy hobby for seniors is choosing to volunteer with a local non-profit. Volunteer work provides a sense of assisting others, along with a great way to spend spare time. Another great thing about volunteer work is that there is an opportunity for every senior, no matter what his or her interests and passions are. Seniors can choose to volunteer at the local animal shelter, a child mentoring program, and more.

7. Writing

Keeping a journal, writing one’s life story, or even creative writing are all great ways to keep a senior’s mind healthy, all while keeping a senior active with a fun hobby. Writing can keep a senior's mind active, whether they choose to write about their past, or even make up fun stories for their grandchildren. Not to mention, all a senior needs to pursue this healthy hobby is a pencil and some paper!

8. Play an Instrument

Whether a senior has always been musically inclined, or their passion for a specific instrument is just blooming, instruments are a great and healthy hobby for seniors. Learning to play an instrument can also assist in keeping a senior’s brain young. Science shows that learning to play an instrument is good for a senior’s health in terms of their audio and visual skills, as well as their motor skills.

9. Reading

Nothing is as stress relieving as getting lost in a good book and reading offers many health benefits for seniors. Whether a senior wants to re-read their favorite book series, or simply likes delving into the newspaper every morning, reading is a great way for senior’s to keep their eyes and brains active. Aside from all of these benefits, seniors that read are 2.5 times less likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

10. Join a Team

Depending on a senior’s physical abilities, sports teams are a great way for seniors to get active and be social. Any form of physical activity can be made into a team sport, simply by doing it with a group. Seniors can join together for walking teams, running teams, biking teams, tennis duos, golf teams and more! People have been bonding and socializing through physical activity for hundreds of years, so why stop because of aging?

Growing old can be exciting, and all the spare time that comes along with retirement can be put to good use. As long as seniors pursue hobbies, they’ll stay happy and healthy in their golden years.

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Frequently Asked Questions

I've heard that eating certain foods can actually work to help prevent Alzheimer's. Is that true?

An emerging number of studies would suggest that eating certain foods could promote brain health, while others can be harmful. Current research is investigating whether fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, along with a low-fat diet can serve to protect the brain against Alzheimer’s. Though, regardless of your predisposition to Alzheimer’s, it’s still vastly beneficial to eat as best as you can throughout your golden years.

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