It’s important for older people to remain social and active in order to avoid boredom or loneliness, and perhaps more importantly, to help reduce the risk of health problems. Maintaining a hobby is the answer and we have put together a list of our top 10 hobby ideas to help give older people some inspiration.
Different hobbies will have a different impact on the person taking part. Sport and fitness activities will help to keep older people healthy and energetic but will also improve their social life due to meeting others with the same interests as them.
Hobby ideas, those such as cooking and gardening can help boost the morale of older people, by giving them a sense of achievement and pride. Reading books and playing video games help to keep the brain active, therefore reducing the risk of dementia. Of course, these are also fun activities for old people.
There are plenty of options available, so let’s look at some of the top hobby ideas.
It’s vital that older people take part in physical activity as much as possible. There are plenty of different sports to choose from that older people are guaranteed to find the one for them.
Some sporting hobby ideas include:
- Walking Football.
All of the above have different effects on the body. Not only is sport great for our physical well-being, but it is also great for our mental state. Many sports are played as a team, which means that those who take part will make new friends and therefore improve their social life. In-turn, this helps to combat loneliness in old age.
Of course, more than anything else, sport is fun. It gives people something to look forward to each week, whether they’re a member of a club/team or if they’re just having a social game with their friends.
You don’t need to take part in sport to meet new people and look after your health. There are plenty of hobby ideas out there which are based on fitness, such as:
- Going to the gym.
- Fitness classes & groups.
- Nordic Walking.
A closer look at Nordic Walking
Nordic Walking is great for your social life and for your medical well-being. Nordic Walking is a full-body exercise which was originally a summer training regime for cross-country skiers.
There are different classes available, including gentle walks for those with health concerns to workout walks for those who are looking to improve their fitness by losing weight and toning their body. By using Nordic poles, you are taking the weight off your knees and lower body joints. Nordic Walking can reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and asthma.
Just like you would if you were taking part in a sporting activity, Nordic walking groups will also introduce you to new people. This can help improve your social life and combat any loneliness that you may be feeling.
If you’re considering taking part in a sporting or fitness activity, it’s important to know what your body can cope with. If you have issues with your muscles or bones, it’s advised that you speak with your GP or fitness instructor in order to understand the level of activity you can take part in.
Gardening has plenty of benefits for older people. Gardening can become an addictive hobby, as everybody wants their garden to look the best it can. Keen gardeners want to fill their gardens with the most beautiful flowers and plants, cut the lawn into a nice, neat design and maybe even grow some fruit and vegetables.
There are plenty of benefits, both mentally and physically, of getting out into the garden. Examples include:
- Getting out into the fresh air.
- Helping to keep fit and active.
- Keeping older people busy.
- Can provide nutritious, healthy food.
- Reducing stress levels.
Ensuring that we’re are up and about and keeping active rather than sitting down all day, is great for our health. In fact, a 2015 study found that just two, 50-minute sessions of potting plants and watering flowers, dramatically improves endurance, dexterity and brain function. As well as this, after seven weeks the participants of the study all lost weight, particularly around their waists, which is one of the most dangerous parts of the body to store fat.
One of the most interesting stories to have hit the news in recent years is the rise of the silver gamer. Yes, that’s right, more people over the age of 55 are playing video games now than ever before.
In 2014, The Telegraph reported that one in four people over 55 had a games console in their home. The majority of older people with consoles in their homes did not have any children living at home. It’s not just games consoles either. The elderly are getting more accustomed to tablets and online version of classics such as Scrabble.
Playing games provides great entertainment and can also be a way of socializing with friends and fellow gamers. It’s not just the social and fun aspect either. Playing video and digital games gives the brain a healthy challenge. One study, in 2015, suggested that 3D computer games can help prevent memory loss. Hand-eye co-ordination and reactions times can also be improved by playing computer games – attributes that may begin to weaken as people get older.
Top games for older players include:
- Lexulous (Facebook Game) – This is an online word game based on the traditional board game, Scrabble. You can play against the computer or against other players from around the world.
- Bejewelled – In this puzzle game, players are required to form a horizontal or vertical chain of three or more gems of the same color. You do this by swapping gems around the screen.
- Wii Sports – This game is available on the Nintendo Wii. Players play the game like they would the sport in real life. Sports include; Tennis, Boxing and Bowling.
- Brain Training – These games are designed to challenge the mind and to get older people thinking. Players will answer questions and solver difficult equations and puzzles.
- Age of Empires – This series is one of the biggest strategy game franchises in the world. Games focus on historical periods such as the Stone Age and Iron Age.
- Super Mario – One of the most well-known and successful platform games. This game will provide hours of entertainment and plenty of puzzle-solving.
- Suduko – This well-known numbers game which often you’ll find in puzzle books and the back of newspapers has now got its own app. Great for keeping the mind sharp!
Learn to Play a New Instrument
Of all our hobby ideas, this is possibly the one that we all consider at some point in our lives. There are plenty of instruments for you to choose from too, such as the guitar, drums, piano, saxophone or violin.
Teaching yourself a new skill provides your brain with a challenge, which is important in the battle against dementia. You’ll also develop your time management and organizational skills during the learning process, as you’ll have to get it your full attention if you’re going to progress and improve.
Your hand-eye coordination also improves as your brain will be working to covert the musical notes that you’re reading on the page into specific motor patterns, breathing techniques and rhythm in your hands.
Of course, playing a musical instrument is also plenty of fun and you could end up making new friends by joining a band once you’re ready.
Finding and learning a new hobby shouldn’t be a chore, remember to have fun and enjoy this new opportunity.
By David Lasman – “Ask Medicare Dave” | President – Senior Healthcare Team
wwww.SeniorHealthcareTeam.com | 866-333-7340
Selecting the right healthcare plan through Medicare can be overwhelming and downright stressful. Senior Healthcare Team is a nationwide resource that provides guidance and support about Medicare to seniors at no cost to them and helps them to choose the most suitable insurance plan tailored to their specific needs and budget. Our goal is to educate and empower our clients to make the best decisions regarding their healthcare and clear up the confusion of Medicare. At Senior Healthcare Team, we aren’t partial to any one insurance company. Our loyalty is to our clients and our mission is to provide them with the best healthcare options at the very lowest cost.