There’s nothing like a new hobby to fill your life with some much-needed change from the everyday groundhog day routine we sometimes get stuck in. I personally think the work/play balance in our society today is extremely unbalanced. There are way too many workaholics out there and the worst part is that it’s seen as an admirable trait by most, rather than a fault. Hobbies allow you to expand your mind into new and exciting places that would otherwise never see the light of day.
If your near or past retirement age though, your hobby selection is most likely going to have just a few limitations. After all we don’t want any seventy year old people climbing up rock faces. With that said there are a plethora of fun and challenging ways to spend your time even if you have some physical limitations. Most of this list is actually inspired by my own grandmother who doesn’t waste a second of the day watching television. I added a few others that I thought sounded fun.
So without further delay here are my top 5 hobbies for seniors:
- Build your own recipe book – If you already enjoy cooking, this one is perfect. Instead of using store-bought recipe books, put your many years of cooking knowledge and experience to work for you. Experiment with new ingredients and have fun. And if your recipe book turns out great, you can share it with your family and friends. Heck, you could even put it on the market and make some money selling it if you wanted. Although money isn’t the purpose here, it sure doesn’t hurt!
- Start a blog – I know this doesn’t sound like the best idea as the well-known stereotype says older folks aren’t good with technology. Forget about that for a minute. Most people have no idea just how easy (and free) it is today to set up a blog. With WordPress, free themes and simple step by step videos showing you exactly how to get started, it’s hard to fail. You can blog about absolutely anything you’d like. There is likely a large audience that would love to read the wise ramblings of someone who has been on this earth much longer than them.
- Yoga – Going for walks is great but if you really want to improve your muscle tone, stamina, circulation and breathing, there is nothing like a yoga class. Modified yoga for seniors is much less strenuous that traditional yoga. Many senior centers have it for free, or you could simply purchase a seniors yoga video to practice in your own home. Remember, once you pass age forty your body automatically loses a percentage of muscle mass every year so you must exercise your muscles just to counterbalance that loss. Finally, yoga will keep you looking and feeling great and will help ward off disease and sickness so that you can live many more years – in a healthy way!
- Photography – Most people who get into photography end up loving it. It’s a great way to connect with the world around you. It will inspire you to travel to new places and meet new people in an attempt to capture it all on camera. Pick an area to specialize in (to photograph) and you’ll become an expert on that too. It’s not hard find digital photography classes these days. You can likely find one for free at your local community college. If not, there are tons of great resources online (like Lynda.com) that can help get you started.
- Golf and/or Tennis – Just because you don’t have the best mobility anymore, doesn’t mean you can’t play sports. Golf and tennis are perfect for seniors because they require more skill than brute force or speed. Of course, if you’re playing tennis I would recommend playing against someone within your age groups and skill level. By staying active physically, you also keep your mind clear and sharp. Plus there’s the advantage of getting outside and taking in the sunshine and fresh air. Golf also has the advantage of taking a long walk on green grass, which can be very calming and peaceful in my experience. These are both games that you can come to master, regardless of your age.
Guest blogger John McKiernan is a freelance writer specializing in the healthcare and fitness fields. He was first inspired to write about CNAs when his girlfriend (Fallon Clark) became a certified nursing aid. From there he launched CNAinfo.net, which includes information for current and prospective CNAs. John is also a personal trainer who enjoys helping people reach their health and fitness goals.