Hobbies hold several benefits, from allowing us to express our interests to investing our time, efforts and money into activities that bring us joy. They are a way to express our identities and can be a great source of fulfillment and enrichment. At LifeStream at Sun City Retirement Community, our residents have the opportunity to enjoy an active lifestyle. Here are some great hobbies to start even when you've reached your senior years.
Whether learning a musical instrument later in life is due to never having the opportunity before or simply looking for a way to relax, studies show that an increasing number of older adults are taking music lessons. While there are many benefits to learning an instrument, a happy side effect is the positive effect it has on memory and the brain's neuroplasticity, which both decline as we age.
Our bodies tend to lose dexterity due to a loss of bone density as we reach the age of 50. The hands tend to get affected fairly early in the process. One way to improve movement and strengthen your hands is through certain activities and exercises. Knitting, crocheting and fly-tying are great ways to keep your hands strong and in motion. These activities are also enjoyable and provide a sense of satisfaction on completion.
The benefits of taking up gardening as a hobby are seemingly endless. Not only do you benefit from the immune-boosting qualities of handling soil, but it also keeps you fit. When gardening includes some light sunshine, you get a good dose of vitamin D, which is fat-soluble and helps the body hold onto calcium and phosphorus. Gardening can be an excellent pantry filler if you extend your gardening prowess to herbs, berries, fruits and vegetables.
Photography is a hobby that can help you lead an active lifestyle and connect with your surroundings. You can opt to choose it as a way to unwind or to document special moments. Photography happens to be a great stress reliever as you're forced to be in the moment.
Writing is a highly creative hobby, whether you're writing a piece of fiction or an autobiography. When writing for yourself, such as journaling, it can also serve as a means to de-stress. Writing suits different skill levels and requires very little in terms of materials, as you simply need to put pen to paper.
Beekeeping might seem like a strange hobby; however, helping a colony thrive can be highly satisfying. Plus, a beehive produces many great products such as honey, beeswax and propolis. While it might be a tight fit in an independent living community, you may convince a nearby farm or smallholding owner to allow you to keep a hive or two on their property in exchange for some of the products. Not only will you help one of the earth's most important pollinators, but you'll also have an active and fulfilling new hobby.
Volunteering can be a highly fulfilling activity that allows you to live out your purpose and make connections with others. Choose a volunteering activity that suits your abilities and possibly even your skills. For instance, if you have a salon background, you can volunteer to give haircuts to those who can't afford it or don't have the mobility to get to a salon. Other forms of volunteering include soup kitchens, taking dogs at the local shelter for a walk or reading to terminally ill patients in a nearby hospital.
Hiking allows you to get in touch with nature and enjoy the great outdoors. It's great for those who want to lead an active lifestyle. You can also choose trails according to your abilities and activity levels. When you hike, you can go solo or in a group. Group hiking can lead to other activities such as camping and fishing trips, as well as forming friendships with like-minded people.
Pickleball is like tennis, but on a smaller court. It's highly social, and you can choose teams that are at the same level of fitness as you. The game is fast-paced and highly enjoyable.
There's something enriching about immersing yourself in other cultures and experiencing an environment different from the one you're used to. While travel might be a pricey hobby, it's worth scouring travel agencies for good deals on idyllic locations. For the budget-conscious, there are several countries that offer a great travel experience at a lower cost of living than the United States. Look for tour groups geared towards seniors to find travel packages and itineraries that suit your needs. You can also travel within the bounds of the United States and have a different experience in almost every state.