Senior citizens are typically defined as individuals who are aged 65 and older, which also means that they have likely retired from their jobs. For those who have been working most of their lives, their job was likely a huge part of their identity, so a sense of self can be lost when entering the retirement years. This is where a hobby can come in to enhance their quality of life. Here are four types of hobbies that are beneficial for senior citizens.
Gardening is already a common hobby among senior citizens, and for good reasons. Gardening keeps you busy, which is beneficial for anyone of any age, and there are so many things you can choose to grow in your garden: fruits, vegetables, flowers, and plants (succulents are a popular choice). It may not seem like it, but gardening provides mild to moderate exercise— depending on the type of gardening you’re doing. Potting flowers and other plants using hand tools provides exercise for the hands and fingers while digging large holes with shovels provides a full-body workout. Gardening also provides mental health benefits, such as:
- Giving a sense of achievement.
- Allow for the care of something living.
- Reduces stress levels.
Choosing to grow your own fruits and vegetables also allows you to eat a healthier diet.
This can relate to gardening, especially if you’ve decided to grow food and herbs. Cooking provides several mental health benefits, as cooking is a huge part of several cultures because it’s known to bring families and friends together. Creating something delicious also gives you a sense of achievement, and when you cook yourself as opposed to ordering takeout, you’re more likely to choose healthier meal options.
#3: Sports and Other Fitness Activities
It’s important to stay physically active throughout the entire life cycle, but it’s especially important in the later years. Many people have the tendency to think that we “slow down” as we age so exercise isn’t possible. This couldn’t be further from the truth, even though we do “slow down” with age, exercise is still possible in the later years. Golfing is a great example of a sport that senior citizens can take part in because it’s low-impact, but it works the entire body; It burns calories while also allowing you to enjoy the outdoors; and it also keeps both your brain and eyes sharp.
Other physical activities/sports that are well-suited for senior citizens include walking, cycling, and yoga. Weightlifting and other strenuous activities aren’t necessary for senior citizens to stay in shape, and can in fact be more dangerous. Of course, everyone is different, as there are people over the age of 65 who are capable of doing these activities. Elders staying active is a great way to keep them (and those who aren’t elders) from becoming bedridden, and suffering the effects that come with it. Being bedridden can result in bedsores, which is the most common injury in nursing homes, but can also occur in anyone who lies in one place for an extended period of time.
#4: Creative and Relaxing Activities
Writing, drawing, painting, sculpting, or even playing a musical instrument are all great forms of creative activity that are beneficial for senior citizens. Many senior citizens may have a creative hobby that they’ve always wanted to try, but couldn’t because of work or family obligations. Retirement is the perfect time to try out some of these creative outlets.
Activities that promote relaxation are good hobbies to take up too. Relaxation is good for both physical and mental health. Some examples of relaxing activities include reading, birdwatching, meditation, and even creative activities that promote relaxation.
Another beneficial hobby for senior citizens can be any hobby that promotes social interaction, which many of these listed above can be done with other people. Social interaction is important in later life, as many seniors tend to become isolated, which can be detrimental to mental health.