Seniors need all kinds of stimulation to keep their minds and bodies active. In addition to exercise and a smart, healthy diet, seniors should seek out opportunities to take up a hobby or two. They can be mentally challenging and foster upbeat social activity so that senior citizens can get involved around their community and step out of the house for some fresh air and positive interaction with others.
But which hobbies are the best? Studies have shown hobbies that combine a mix of social activity, physical motivation, and mental invigoration can be absolutely critical for promoting healthy aging.
Here are five fun and healthy hobbies that seniors can pick up to give them a much needed boost in their lives to avoid feeling alone and stay sharp each and every day.
1. Adopting a Pet
It doesn’t really matter which kind you choose, be it a furry or feathered friend. Any sort of pet can offer chemical influences on the brain to positively affect emotions and reduce stress levels.
Having a pet to care for can give seniors a purpose in looking after a living being that relies on their support in order to live and thrive. In turn, pets can lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol levels, combat feelings of loneliness and depression, and warm the heart in ways to make it healthier.
Dogs can require a little more work but that adds a physical quality to owning a pet as seniors who take their dogs for a walk can get in some exercise on a routine basis. Cats are less work as they don’t need as much maintenance and upkeep from day to day.
2. Arts and Crafts
Being creative means being stimulated and getting involved in some form of arts and crafts activities can help seniors live their best lives through self expression.
There are many avenues to choose from and senior citizens can get involved in photography, painting, knitting or sewing, and even scrapbooking or sculpting.
These endeavors can be richly rewarding, not just on a personal level but for getting involved in social pursuits with others. There are many classes and seminars where senior citizens can work alongside one another to create arts and crafts.
Art activities keep the brain sharp and responsive and they can even be therapeutic for those affected with a variety of psychological challenges such as dementia.
It’s no secret that routine physical activity can help seniors feel their best. That’s because staying active helps keep joints and muscles working properly and blood flowing through the body.
So a beneficial hobby that all seniors should consider taking up is some kind of physical activity that gets their heart pumping and the body moving.
What’s great about this option is that it brings seniors together so they can be social and interact in a group setting and there are a multitude of possibilities as to the type of exercise program sounds most appealing.
The type of exercise seniors can select varies based upon how strenuous the activity. Many choose to go with swimming which is ideal for helping to ease the pain of certain forms of arthritis. Moving through the water takes alleviates pressure on the joints which makes exercise less taxing and painful to accomplish.
Some seniors prefer doing yoga which can center the mind and body, reducing hypertension and stress while improving balance and fortifying the bones.
If neither of those are all that appealing, seniors have the option of going out dancing. This is also another terrific way to combine fitness with socialization.
Whether it’s board games or card games, some casual competition can stimulate the brain and get seniors to think about strategies and outwit their opponents. Games such as these are surefire ways to stave off the effects of Alzheimer’s and similar dementia-related illnesses.
Crossword puzzles and Sudoku can also help motivate the brain and keep it working at peak performance.
Most games, of course, need more than one person to play and that’s what Seniors Helping Seniors is all about – bringing people together so they may stimulate and improve each other through many different methods for interaction.
Sometimes seniors need to feel like they’re needed and making a difference in their community. So many of them choose to get involved in volunteer work. Whether it’s putting in some hours at a local business, helping out with fundraisers, or pitching in at the local church or community center, a senior citizen’s self-esteem can get a pretty large boost with a renewed sense of purpose.
It’s another great hobby that gets your loved one out of the house and into social situations and environments that will keep them from feeling bored or lonely with their days.