Picking up Useful New Hobbies for Senior Citizens

Picking Up Useful New Hobbies for Senior Citizens

When many seniors who live at home first retire from working, they experience something they never thought they would: boredom. You spent years juggling work, a family, and taking care of a household– from driving the kids to soccer practice to taking care of the household bills. But now the kids have moved out. You don’t have a 40-hour-per-week job anymore, not to mention the time you save commuting.

So, what to do with all that free time? You know you want to stay physically active and keep in touch with friends and family. You also know that seniors live on retirement income, so you don’t want to do something that costs a lot of money. Picking up useful new hobbies for senior citizens is the answer.

Finding the Right Active Hobby for Seniors

Being physically active is more important than ever after you retire. Many retired individuals have the image of an elderly person in a rocking chair whiling away the hours on the front porch. It can be tempting to think that way, especially after a long career of working hard every day. You’ll certainly want to do some of that, but for the sake of your health, finding useful new hobbies for senior citizens that let you stay active is important.

Keeps your heart healthier

As you get older, your risk of heart disease increases greatly. Seniors who stay active reduce the risk considerably of having heart issues later in life. Any activity that gets you moving and, even for 20 minutes a day a few times a week, can help.

Exercise can help you manage your weight

One of the obvious health benefits of being active is that you can help manage your weight. Many people who worked at physically demanding jobs fail to realize that they need to keep up a level of physical activity to avoid gaining weight post-retirement. Even a daily walk will have an impact.

Reduce your blood pressure

You may think that because you’re retired you won’t have any more stress, but this is actually not the case for most seniors. Staying active has a positive impact on one’s overall stress levels, as well as their blood pressure.

Benefits to your mental health

Staying physically active can reduce the risk of social isolation, especially if you join a fitness class. The more we learn about the connection between physical and mental health, the more experts recommend staying active can be beneficial to both.

But what type of active hobby is right for you? The best active hobby for any senior is the one they’ll stick with regularly and enjoy. After all, you don’t want a hobby to feel like work when you’re retired. So, try a few different new hobbies for senior citizens on for size, and figure out what works best for you.

The good news is, there are many ways to try new things without making a big commitment. Many senior centers have short-term classes or activities that you can drop in on, such as yoga, water aerobics, or pick-up basketball games. Beyond group activities, consider things you can do on your own, like biking or going for long walks outside. Even maintaining a garden can be physically demanding.

Less Active New Hobbies for Senior Citizens 

Even if you get plenty of exercise, you will probably want a secondary hobby as well. Thankfully, there are plenty of other things seniors can do to stay busy that aren’t as physically demanding.

Jigsaw Puzzles

Putting together large jigsaw puzzles has unexpectedly become a popular hobby again. Manufacturers are keeping up with demand by making puzzles of many different sizes and difficulty levels.

Why it’s a good hobby for seniors. Puzzles involve a bit of hand-eye coordination that help you keep up your fine motor skills while engaging your brain. It’s also something you can do for 10 minutes or two hours at a time, depending on how you feel. You’ve probably got an old card table you can set up in an out-of-the-way corner.

Does it cost a lot? Many good-sized puzzles can be purchased for less than $10. Once you’ve completed it, you can trade them with others.

Knitting and Sewing

Whether it’s knitting a sweater, sewing a piece of clothing, or just casually doing needlepoint, this is a popular hobby for many reasons.

Why it’s a good hobby for seniors. The concentration it takes keeps you mentally sharp, and staying busy with your hands can help fend off arthritis. Plus, you can give the fruits of your labor away as gifts or use them yourself. Even if you haven’t touched a ball of yarn since arts and crafts class at summer camp, you can get started in no time.

Does it cost a lot? It depends. Buying a top-of-the-line sewing machine is pricey, and yarn can be somewhat expensive for avid knitters. However, there are free patterns available all over the internet, and starting by hand will save you money.

Family Tree

Many older adults want to learn more about their family history. Some families keep detailed notes about family trees, but for many others, it can be a mystery. Finding these answers can feel like solving a good mystery!

Why it’s a good hobby for seniors. You can participate as much or as little as you want. Maybe you aren’t interested in going back more than a few generations. Or maybe you want to find out that your 7th cousin twice removed was famous.

Does it cost a lot? Not usually. Of course, you can subscribe to a service like Ancestry, but that isn’t necessary. There are many free resources, from your local library, from local governments, and even from the Library of Congress.

Start a Book Club

Having something regularly scheduled is good for seniors, because it gives them a kind of anchor to schedule other things around. A book club is also a great way to ensure you see others regularly while improving your brain health. You don’t have to impress anyone by selecting dense intellectual books with heavy themes. You can have just as much of a good conversation about a Nora Roberts or John le Carre book as you can a volume of Proust.

Why it’s a good hobby for seniors. Reading is an important way of staying mentally sharp and reducing stress. Te social interaction of a book club makes it a no-brainer hobby for seniors.

Does it cost a lot? It doesn’t have to. If you pick titles that aren’t new releases, you can borrow them from the library or buy them from a used bookstore. As for hosting the discussions, rotate hosts and have everyone bring a snack or a beverage.

This is just a short list of hobbies that senior citizens can take up. Ask around at your local senior center, library, or call your local department on aging to see what other programs or classes there are in your area.

Getting Help Around the House to Support Your Hobbies

You may find that, until you settle into the things you really like, you’ll be just as busy retired as you were when you were working. That means you may need a little help around the home. Rather than sacrifice the things you enjoy, why not get some help with activities such as housekeeping, laundry, and meal preparation?

An at-home care aide can help with these tasks while you continue to enjoy your retired and active lifestyle. That way, if you need to slow down in later years, you’ll feel as though you’ve gotten the most out of your retirement.

Home Care Powered by AUAF is Here to Help You Live Your Best Life

Whether you’re newly retired and trying to get a handle on your new lifestyle, or if you stopped working years ago but aren’t ready for the rocking chair, the staff at Home Care Powered by AUAF can help. Our in-home caregivers will support your active lifestyle by helping you with everyday activities many seniors struggle with. Call us at (773) 274-9262 or contact us to find out more.

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