Ah, retirement. It’s a stage of life that many of us look forward to for years. The part of our lives when we can step away from our part or full time jobs and pursue other interests. But sadly, many people who reach retirement years have reported that they are bored while having no clue what to do with the extra time they now have on their hands. Often retirees have dreams of traveling…but find that their budget only allows for the occasional trip. So what do they do with all of their time during the average day to day living?
Road Scholar recognized this dilemma and decided to survey over 1000 retirees to find out what kinds of hobbies they pursued in order to maintain a sense of purpose during their golden years. They then used their recommendations to compile a list of some of the Best Retirement Hobbies for seniors. We want to share those ideas with you!
- Online Learning
Although it may be difficult to get outside or physically attend a class, there are countless online lectures, educational programs and courses designed for seniors that you can take to enrich and expand your mind.
- Participating in a Book Club
Love to read? Expand your mind and your understanding of other people and topics by joining a book club. Book clubs not only provide ideas for content and thought prompts, but also provide an opportunity to get together with others who have similar interests. They’re a great opportunity to make friends.
Walking or hiking bring the valuable opportunity to get some fresh air, increase your activity level, and observe nature. Whether you walk with a friend or prefer to walk alone, these activities can bring clarity of mind and have brought a lot of seniors joy. Be sure to have a companion with you if you decide to walk or hike in unpopulated areas.
With an abundance of digital tools and resources on the internet (which are growing rapidly every day), countless people have found genealogy to be a fun and rewarding hobby. It helps your brain, can bring peace, and can sometimes even connect you up with distant relatives you didn’t even know you had!
Want to see the world in a whole new way? Many seniors have found a new perspective through photography. And with the recent advancements of technology, you don’t necessarily need to go out and buy an expensive camera to get started. Numerous photographers have started by experimenting with a simple smartphone camera. If it’s something you come to really enjoy, you can always go to a local tech store to talk with a camera expert about upgrades.
Gardening is a holistically positive experience. It is good for the brain, the body, and the soul. And specifically, seniors have found that they really enjoy the opportunity to get outside and work closely with nature. Some people prefer gardening flowers and others prefer fruits or vegetables. If you decide to grow fruits or vegetables, you are also creating for yourself an opportunity to eat healthier when the produce is ready for harvest.
Birding is an activity retirees have found they enjoy. Usually it involves getting outside and walking in the fresh air, focusing in on birds, and trying to identify what kind they are.
- Foreign Language Study
Frequently, people fall into the trap of thinking that learning a new language is a young person’s game. Think again! Many seniors have found a lot of joy in learning a new language and some have even planned a trip to a location where that language is spoken primarily in order to test their knowledge and reward themselves for the hard work they have put into learning.
Many people have found themselves yearning to leave something of value for future generations. Writing is an excellent way to capture your thoughts and experiences in a sort of time capsule for future generations and your posterity to hold on to, cherish, and learn from. Whether it’s on paper or typed up on a digital platform, make sure that your writing is saved securely so that your posterity can access it decades into the future. Writing is also a great way to let out emotions and stress. Journaling is a great form of writing.
- Singing or Playing a Musical Instrument
Just like learning a new language, some seniors get caught in the trap of thinking that learning to sing or play a musical instrument is a young person’s game. But it’s not! In fact, research has shown that older adults tend to have a more disciplined and effective approach to learning a new instrument than young people do. And if you played an instrument earlier on in life, pick it back up again! You might remember more than you think you do. Music has been proven to bring joy into people’s lives, and recent research has even proven that singing or playing a musical instrument can help to forestall dementia.
- Painting or Drawing
If you want an outlet other than music, painting or drawing is a great choice! One Road Scholar senior writes that painting “has been inspirational for me. I especially like plein air (outdoor) painting as it combines my love of nature and scenery with the deeply satisfying experience of painting. It becomes a way of both freeing and expanding mind and spirit.”
If walking or hiking is too hard on your knees, try bicycling! Oftentimes, seniors have found that bicycling rekindles feelings of freedom that they had in their younger years. It also provides a great opportunity to get outside and get some fresh air. Make sure to wear protective gear, such as a helmet or knee pads. It is also wise to consult with your doctor to make sure there won’t be any complications that come from taking up a new physical activity such as bicycling.
We hope this list has been helpful for you! At Aspire Home Health and Hospice, we care about your overall health and wellness. We want you to have ample opportunities to stay healthy and continue progressing through participation in positive hobbies in your golden years.
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