Retirement should never be boring. In fact, it’s just the opposite – and many senior adults report that they have more time than ever during their retirement years to learn new skills, meet new friends and step out of their comfort zones. Studies have shown that picking up new hobbies in your senior years isn’t just fun – it’s good for your body and mind. Here are three of the many benefits of learning a new hobby for seniors, and a few fun ideas to get you started with each one.
Trying a new hobby is a great way to tap into your creative side (and give your brain a boost, while you’re at it). One study showed that engaging in hobbies, particularly artistic ones, can help senior adults reduce the risk of dementia and improve memory. Engaging in a fun activity can keep your brain sharp, in addition to just being fun.
A few traditional artistic hobbies for seniors include drawing, painting, pottery, photography and even creative writing. If you’re not sure where to dive in, visit your local library or browse online for the many free resources that are widely available.
Not the traditionally artistic type? A number of hobbies, including reading, cooking, baking or even playing computer games can serve the same function when it comes to keeping your brain sharp. Find something that you enjoy and see where it takes you.
Chances are, you’re not the only one in your neighborhood or senior community who loves board games or a classic mystery novel. Learning a new hobby is also a great opportunity to connect with others and build friendships. Try attending a class offered in your community or even starting your own book club. Join your local community garden and get to know your neighbors a little better.
Some of the best activities for making friends center around music. Whether you’ve been practicing the piano for years or are intrigued by the idea of learning an instrument, check for local choirs, music groups and even opportunities to participate in community theater. Nothing brings a group of people closer together faster than practicing for opening night!
Staying active in your senior years is one of the most important things you can do for your overall health. The CDC recommends that senior adults aim to get 150 minutes of moderate exercise (think: the intensity of a brisk walk) every week. Trying a new hobby is a great way to get that movement in without even realizing it. Several popular hobbies are considered moderate-intensity exercise. These include working in a garden, walking on outdoor trails and participating in water aerobics.
Feeling extra adventurous? Consider signing up for a local dance class. Many studios and recreational centers have classes designed specifically for seniors. You can learn some fancy footwork while getting in your weekly activity and even make a few new friends.
No matter which new hobby you decide to try in your senior years, the most important thing is to try something! It’s never too late to learn a new skill or make new friends. In addition to being fun, a hobby is a great way to keep your mind sharp. If you don’t like the first hobby you try, keep exploring options until you find something you’re passionate about.
At Advent Christian Village, we are proud to offer a variety of clubs, activities and venues for finding new hobbies at every phase of your retirement. From choir practice to jewelry making, there’s something for everyone. Give us a call today at 1-800-647-3353 or click here to schedule a tour!