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A Guide to Hobbies for Seniors

As we all get older, it’s not always easy to find new activities that interest us. We might feel like we can’t do all of the same things we used to. Or, maybe we simply don’t have a large social circle with whom we can enjoy different hobbies.

Thankfully, you don’t have to give up hobbies you love or hold yourself back from finding something new and exciting just because you’re older. While it’s important to take your well-being and limitations into consideration, there are plenty of accessible options you can enjoy.

The best part?

Having a hobby can enrich your life in so many ways, including offering a boost to your mental health. With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few hobby options for older adults. No matter your interests, there’s an activity out there for you that you can enjoy at any age.

Hobbies and Your Health

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Hobbies are more than just fun, interesting ways to pass the time. They can offer a sense of purpose and something to look forward to. That’s important for older adults – especially if you rely on a caregiver for some of your basic needs, or you have a hard time getting out of the home and interacting with others.

If that’s the case, consider adopting hobbies you can do even if you have limitations. Many daily activities can become part of your self-care practice, and you can use them as part of a healthy lifestyle.

Some of the best options to consider include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Gardening
  • Puzzles
  • Crafting
  • Walking

These hobbies can be done on your own, with a care partner, or with a family member or friend. They’re all easily accessible and you don’t need much to get started. Even if you’ve never gotten involved with them in the past, you could end up discovering a new passion that keeps you active, sharp, and engaged.

Make Some Music

It’s never too late to learn a musical instrument. Most instruments are accessible to everyone, even if you have health limitations. If you’re on a fixed income, you can purchase a used instrument or even rent one from a local music shop. Doing so will allow you to try out a few different options to determine the right fit.

Playing an instrument is beneficial at any age. However, as a older adult, you can enjoy added benefits like a lowered heart rate, better cognitive health, and improved mood. Depending on the type of instrument you play and how you want to learn it, it can also be a great opportunity for socialization.

Not only will learning a new instrument benefit your cognitive state but playing music can offer a major mental health boost.

Get Physical

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As you get older, you become more susceptible to certain conditions, ailments, and illnesses, including:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Slips and falls
  • Chronic pain
  • Limited mobility

If you live a mostly sedentary lifestyle, you might also struggle with conditions like varicose veins. Some of the symptoms of varicose veins include heaviness in your legs, itching around the veins, and cramping.

In some cases, medical treatment is needed to reduce the appearance and the symptoms of varicose veins. However, you can fight back against them and reduce the risk of developing other illnesses by staying physically active.

There’s no right or wrong way to move your body, and there are plenty of ways to turn physical activity into a healthy hobby. Always consult your physician before doing anything strenuous.

Find something you actually enjoy doing and you’ll be more motivated to stick with it. That might include joining a dance or yoga class. Or, consider looking into exercises that can still be done if you’re limited in your mobility. Things like cycling and swimming are easier on the joints but burn a lot of calories and can strengthen your muscles.

Not only will exercise boost your physical well-being, but it’s wonderful for your mental health, too.

Embrace Your Alone Time

Many older adults struggle with feelings of loneliness and isolation. Those feelings should be taken seriously. Isolation can lead to mental and physical health decline, and can even increase your mortality rate.

However, some older people are okay with spending time alone. While you should absolutely interact with friends and family as often as possible, don’t be afraid to seek out hobbies that allow you to enjoy your alone time. Spending some time alone can be peaceful and help you rediscover who you are and what you want to do with this chapter of your life.

Plus, solo hobbies can be incredibly enriching, especially if you’re on a journey of self-discovery. Try things like:

  • Journaling
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Candlemaking

You can also find new hobbies that fit your current interests. Do you love cooking and you’ve always had a passion for food? Consider joining a wine or restaurant club and trying different places in your city. Do you have a deep love for animals? This might be a perfect time to adopt a dog or cat — just be sure you don’t have any health or mobility issues that might make it difficult to care for an animal at home and pick a breed that is appropriate for your lifestyle.

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Work With Your Hands

Some older adults struggle with the idea that they aren’t “contributing” anything to society. If you’re retired and live on your own or with a spouse or partner, you might start to wonder what your purpose is.

If that’s the case, consider hobbies that allow you to work with your hands and create something from nothing. Things like woodworking, car restoration, crafting, and furniture repurposing are all great ways to bring a bit more practicality to your hobbies.

Depending on what you create, you might even be able to start a side hustle selling your products online. Having an additional source of income can be a great feeling after retirement.

What’s Your Path?

The sky is truly the limit when it comes to possible hobbies for older adults. Focus on trying things that make you feel good inside and out. Your hobbies should help you maintain your mental and physical health, reduce stress, and help you see the value in your golden years.

Whether you try something new for the first time or rediscover an old passion, don’t hesitate to try out a few different hobbies to determine what you really enjoy, and what you’ll stick with at this stage of life.