Best Hobbies for Seniors
Nov 07, 2018
Many people equate hobbies with quiet, solitary pursuits — think reading or playing the violin — and ways to pass the time. But the truth is that hobbies can run the gamut of activity levels and abilities.
If you’re looking for a new recreational pursuit to enjoy, you’ll find plenty of options on our list. By diving into one or several, you may just meet some new people and expand your horizons in the process.
Getting and staying fit can represent a time-consuming challenge, but it also can provide a range of long-term benefits for your mental and physical health. From helping you maintain your independence to reducing the pain of arthritis and improving joint health, reducing depression, boosting mood and improving health markers related to diabetes and heart disease, exercise can aid your quality of life in a variety of ways.
What type of exercise should you choose? The important thing is to get moving, and how you do that is up to you! Walking is a great, low-impact activity that most people can enjoy. You can walk just about anywhere; get a set of sturdy walking shoes, slather on some sunscreen and head out for a stroll. When the weather doesn’t cooperate, consider walking in a local mall or indoor track or hop on a treadmill in a fitness center.
Many people enjoy yoga, which can reduce stress, aid your balance and help you build stronger bones. If you enjoy cooling off in a pool, consider taking up swimming, a form of exercise that puts minimal stress on your joints as it helps you improve muscle tone, posture, flexibility and aerobic fitness.
Caring for a Pet
For many people, a beloved pet can become a cherished member of the family. Pets also provide encouragement to get out and move, and they often attract the attention of potential new friends. They can provide real health benefits as well, including reducing stress and increasing the production of serotonin, the brain’s “feel-good” chemical.
If you’re an animal lover who does not currently own a pet, consider what type of furry friend might work best for your preferences and needs. If you love to get out for walks or jogs, an energetic dog might fit the bill. If you tend to stick closer to home, you might enjoy a serene, smaller dog, a cat or a bird. Many local shelters will also help you find the right match in a pet based on your lifestyle.
If you enjoy history, you may love getting started with coin collecting. By using online auctions, frequenting coin shops and visiting flea markets and gatherings of coin aficionados, you can get your collection going. You’ll likely meet friends who share your interest, and you may even find the opportunity for your hobby to grow into a money-making venture as you collect valuable items.
Clubs and Groups
For people who enjoy sharing their hobby or interest with others, a variety of clubs and groups can provide opportunities for social interaction. From bridge, woodworking, model airplane and book clubs to discussion groups covering everything from current events to modern art, you’re sure to find a gathering that fits your preferences.
Dancing qualifies as a form of exercise, and it can also constitute a hobby in its own right. In addition to helping improve gait, balance and overall physical fitness, research has found that dancing also may reduce the risk of developing dementia. The benefit may be attributable to the brain-tickling detail involved in following along with complicated dance steps.
Teaching a Course
If you have specialized knowledge or skills — whether from your education, career or life experience — that you’re willing to share with others, you may enjoy teaching a course. Computer programming, baking, knitting, woodworking, writing and many other subjects often are in demand for adult-education programs, whether online or in person through your local community college.
Arts and Crafts
The sky is the limit when you pursue an interest in arts and crafts. Jewelry design, scrapbooking and photo framing allow you to turn everyday objects into artistic, beautiful keepsakes. Through quilting, knitting, painting, woodworking and pottery-making, you can design and create useful items that recipients will treasure for a lifetime. You may even find that offering your creations online allows you to earn some income on the side.
Gardening is another hobby that offers a form of physical exercise along with myriad additional benefits. Digging in the dirt, planting seeds and watching them sprout, and caring for plants as they grow proves therapeutic for many people. This hobby also encourages an interest in nature, mental stimulation from learning more about plants and the right conditions for growing them and use of motor skills and physical endurance. And once the harvest arrives, gardeners can take pleasure and pride in their work by sharing their bounty with friends, neighbors and family members.
Cards and Games
From Scrabble to bridge to billiards, games offer a great way to stimulate your mind as you meet new people and build lasting friendships. Research has found that people who play mentally challenging games may develop sharper thinking skills than peers who don’t enjoy games. Why not join in a friendly game now and then?
Music, Theater and Dance
Culture and the arts — including dance, music and theater — constitute a popular hobby for many people. Whether you enjoy taking in performances or participating, you can immerse yourself in a passion for the arts. Local community performance venues offer you many hours of inexpensive entertainment, and you can choose to get involved, either as a volunteer or as a performer. Have the desire but not the skill? Consider taking a class or two in the discipline that interests you and then don’t hesitate to dive in.
You may feel that you get plenty of exercise from swimming, walking or participating in fitness classes. But if you have a competitive personality or you’d like a little extra boost for your fitness routine, consider making your hobby a competitive sport. Tennis, golf, shuffleboard and bocce ball can all provide great workouts. To bump up your game even more, you can join a team and compete against others in ultimate frisbee, softball, volleyball, badminton, croquet and many other sports.
When you choose to volunteer as a hobby, you give back in many ways to others and to your community as a whole. Many nonprofit and charitable organizations rely on volunteer labor, from planning events to serving meals to collecting donations and more. But volunteering doesn’t just help others; it provides those who engage in it with a sense of pride and accomplishment. You can make a difference by volunteering your time and talents.
Cooking and Baking
Just about everyone loves receiving homemade baked goods and other delicious fare, and you can turn a love of cooking and baking into a full-fledged hobby. With so many TV shows, online videos, magazines, books and websites now focusing on cooking, you’ll have no shortage of reference materials to inspire your culinary projects. Why not find a few recipes that interest you, gather your ingredients and get started? Your friends and neighbors will thank you as they enjoy the delicious fruits of your labor.
For individuals who no longer have work commitments, traveling offers a rewarding and stimulating hobby. How — and where — you travel is entirely up to you. You can choose to stick close to home, embarking on day trips to regional attractions such as beaches, parks, museums, historic sites and performance venues. If you enjoy longer treks, you can head out by plane, train, automobile or ship to see the sights of your preferred destination.
If you enjoy photography or writing, you can also start a blog documenting your travels. Sharing your experiences with others can make travel even more rewarding and fun. And traveling need not bust your budget; by searching for online deals, you can minimize expenses for lodging, airfare and attraction passes.
If you love caring for cars, you may have the foundation for a rewarding — and possibly lucrative — hobby. Restoring classic cars requires little overhead, and it may generate some income. Is there a classic car in your garage or driveway in need of attention? With some creativity, skill and attention to detail, you may be able to bring that past-its-prime vehicle back to life.
You might not classify spending time with others as a hobby, but it meets all the requirements; it’s fun, rewarding and provides a great way to spend your time. Loneliness and social isolation have been linked with higher risk for health problems, including high blood pressure, mental deterioration and depression. By getting together with friends, family members and neighbors on a regular basis, you take an important step toward boosting your quality of life and overall happiness.
Consider calling up or emailing friends you haven’t seen in a while and plan to get together for lunch or coffee. Before you know it, you’ll have a full social calendar.
Discover an Ideal Location
When you choose to live in a convenient location near a variety of attractions, you open up a whole world of new friends, activities and hobbies. Grand Tapestry’s Oklahoma City senior apartments are situated close to dining, shopping, outdoor recreational opportunities and plenty of natural beauty.
In addition, Grand Tapestry offers easy access to an array of arts and cultural attractions including performances, museums and gallery shows — along with a full range of services and amenities. With more free time, you can focus on the hobbies and activities you enjoy. To plan your visit, please contact us today.