In a previous article, we spoke about how important it is for you to maintain a healthier lifestyle later in life. But what hobbies can you take part in to help you reach that goal of staying healthy in your later years? There are a number of hobbies and other leisure activities that help provide seniors with physical, mental, and social development.
One of the main benefits of many of the hobbies you’ll find below is the avoidance of senior isolation. This is one of the greatest problems facing seniors today as reported by the Seniors Council of the Canadian Government. Statistics Canada also identifies that around one-fifth of seniors are not taking action and finding a hobby that can help them mentally, physically, and socially.
This week, we have come up with three of senior-friendly hobbies you can start doing immediately to get the most out of the summer season.
Taking Proper Precautions
The Government of Canada recommends that if you are looking to be active during the summer months you should take some initial steps before hand. Their report outlines basic strategies such as checking the air quality index before heading outside and timing your activities at cooler times of the day or different days entirely.
Firstly, if you suffer from various joint, muscle, and arthritis pain, this is the easiest exercise you can do. The fact is, swimming can relieve the pressure put on joints and can easily improve muscle health. If you are struggling to find an exercise routine because of ailments like osteoarthritis, then joining a senior swim club in your local area will be your best option.
A study performed in Australia looked at 1700 men aged 70 and older and compared their exercise routines. The study found that of all the men, the ones that swam regularly were 33 percent less likely to fall and had better posture. This study illustrated that by swimming you are creating your own base support while also coordinating the movement of all your extremities.
30-minute swim sessions at four or more times a week is all that is needed to see benefits. Also, there is the added benefit of getting to socialize. If you simply sign up for a senior’s class at a pool you will have the chance to interact with other local seniors.
Not only will you be getting in some physical exercise, but you will be taking active steps against senior isolation. Finally, you should be cautious about swimming when feeling dizzy as some medications can cause this among other side effects. To maximize your security only swim when other people are around and keep your swimming area free of any obstructions.
Arts and Crafts
Taking up the hobby of painting, photography, or any other creative art form, is a great way to add a soothing and liberating activity to your summer hobby repertoire. Along with being more relaxed, the process of creating something also builds self-esteem and helps to stimulate and improve cognition and memory.
According to an article by Audrey Miller, a recognized expert on aging and caregiving issues, practicing art later in life promotes self-expression and even works towards fighting dementia. Through relieving anxiety and increasing the attention of the affected person, art therapy is particularly effective in patients with early stage dementia who recognize their own confusion and can become depressed.
If you are able, you can arrange to meet with friends and set up weekly art sessions while catching up together. There are also classes available in local community centers you can take part in. Finally, if you are unable to leave your home there are services that can arrange to have an art teacher come to you for a few times a week.
This hobby is held as one of the most enjoyable forms of exercise. Gardening provides a simple physical activity that increases senior mobility and flexibility. Gardening will give you a routine to stick to as it will require care and upkeep allowing you to keep busy and avoid inaction on a summer’s day.
Practicing gardening can be both a social and a self-reflective activity. When done with family and friends you have a social benefit added on; however, when preformed on your own, gardening can provide you with a quiet time to relax and give you time to practice a meditative activity. To make this a more social activity you can even join or start a club in your community or residency if you live in a senior living community.
If you have a small patch of unused space in your back or front yard, you have the perfect opportunity to start a garden. Also, you can create a miniature garden within your home by simply using indoor flower pots or by taking advantage of your deck space if you live in a condo or apartment.