10 Great Hobbies for Seniors

It is important for seniors to have some sort of structure in their day to avoid feelings of isolation and depression.  This can be particularly true if they are retired.  Remaining active and social is often difficult, however, doing so can assist in reducing the risk of developing health problems.  Finding a hobby can foster a sense of pride and accomplishment.  You can research some great hobbies on the internet using your cell phone.  There are many options for cell phones for seniors that have smartphone features that would allow for accessing the internet.

Exploring Your Interests

There are hobbies for many different activity levels and many different interests.  If you are physically fit and active, finding a hobby that challenges you physically can help you remain energetic.  If you are not physically fit, finding a hobby that challenges you mentally can leave you feeling refreshed and exhilarated.

It is important to find a hobby that you are truly interested in rather than participating in a hobby just to have something to do.  If you are interested in a particular hobby you are much more likely to put in your best effort.  Doing so will give you a sense of pride, and this will spark your passion to do more of what you love to do.

The Importance of Movement for Seniors

Many seniors spend a great deal of time sitting or lying down each day.  Reducing the risk of medical conditions can be accomplished through movement.  The recommendation is to get 150 minutes of activity each week.  Engaging in physical activity helps manage conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, depression, arthritis, and dementia.  There are so many hobbies that incorporate movement that seniors can participate in, and they don’t have to be exhausting to be good for you.  Some of these physical hobbies include:

Walking:  Walking the mall with friends is a great way to stay active and social.  Friends can be a motivator for you, and you are likely to put in greater effort if you are walking with friends.

Swimming:  Swimming is a no-impact activity that improves heart health and your endurance.  Swimming is a great activity for lowering blood pressure, improving circulation, and reducing the risk of heart and lung disease.

Water aerobics:  This activity is also no-impact or low-impact, however, it is a wonderful cardio workout that also helps with arthritis and joint pain.  Water aerobics also increases bone density and muscle mass.

Yoga:  The benefits of Yoga are increased muscle tone, balance, strength, and improved mood.  Some of the Yoga breathing exercises can increase lung capacity.  In addition, participating in Yoga can improve both posture and sleep.

Tai Chi:  Tai Chi is a low impact activity that improves stability.  This is an especially good activity for seniors that are a fall risk as well as people who have Parkinson’s disease.

For seniors that are less active, there are plenty of hobbies that can be enjoyable and engaging. Some of these hobbies are:

Gardening:  Gardening assists in reducing stress.  It gets you out into the fresh air and provides opportunities for movement.  If your gardening consists of a vegetable garden, you will also benefit from the fresh food that you grow.  You can take pride in and enjoy the foods that you worked to grow.

Gaming:  There are plenty of video games that seniors can play to keep their mind active.  Many computer games help improve memory.  Also, eye-hand coordination and reaction times can be improved with some games.  Games can be played on a game console, such as Wii or PlayStation.  Some games can be played online.  In both platforms, these games can provide access to other online players.  This is helpful if you have difficulty getting out of the home.

Cooking:  Cooking a meal can provide you with a sense of achievement.  This activity can also bring friends and family together for socialization.  Friends can communicate through text and calling to plan meals and to try new recipes together.

Jigsaw Puzzles:  Putting together jigsaw puzzles is fun and it challenges the mind.  They come in all sizes from 100 pieces to 40,000 pieces.  3D puzzles can also be a good, challenging option for you.  Some 3D puzzles are in the form of well-known landmarks, such as Big Ben or the Eiffel Tower.

Crossword Puzzles and Sudoku:  These activities challenge logical thought and help with concentration and memory.  They can also help with stress reduction.

All of these activities will help with cognitive functioning, and they are enjoyable.  Some of the activities that require less physical exertion could lead to spending more time alone, so it is important for seniors to remember to reach out to friends and family.  There are cell phones for seniors that have larger keypads and others that are easy to use so that reaching out by text, phone call, or video is not overwhelming.  It is also important for family and friends to reach out as well.

If you are a friend or family member of a senior citizen you can offer to walk with them, ask them to cook a meal with you, or even ask them to play a video game with you.  Cooking meals together ensures that your senior friend or loved one is eating nutritional food.  Playing video games can be fun and can spark a competitive interaction that provides a great deal of laughter.  Having fun helps elevate the mood, and it provides a sense of belonging to everyone involved.  Having fun also releases endorphins.  This naturally makes people feel happy and more relaxed, and it can even temporarily reduce pain.

The important thing is that you stay active because of health benefits.  When you are active, you can feel more energetic.  Some hobbies can lead to strengthened relationships with family and friends, while others can lead to new friends.

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