It can be difficult to observe the slow progression of age and its associated ailments from afar. If you have an aging senior in your life, perhaps you are concerned that they are losing the same zest for life that they once had. Don’t be alarmed! Many individuals go through similar phases when they start to reach an advanced age. If you’re wondering how to help your senior get back their enthusiasm, positive outlook, and vibrancy back, then read our list of hobbies that help seniors improve their energy levels, cognitive function, physical, and emotional health. These are also activities that you can share, helping to keep your senior socialized and your relationship with them healthy.
Caring for a Pet
Some people assume that having a pet is just a fun way to spend time and a cute accessory to have around the house, but pets can actually be great friends and have been shown to provide a comfort system. Some pets will produce a chemical chain reaction in their owner’s brain that helps to lower the stress hormone cortisol and increase production of serotonin, the feel good chemical. Pets can also reduce blood pressure and stress level, fight depression, lower cholesterol, and protect against heart conditions!
If your loved one does not suffer from dementia or a related illness, they can spend some of the free time dedicated to giving back to their community through local charities, fundraisers, homeless shelters, and more. The great part about volunteering is that you don’t have to invest a ton of time to make a huge impact on people's lives. Simply showing up, showing support, and talking to people is enough to help someone through difficult times and show them that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Studies show that people who spend time actively volunteering once a week are less prone to depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, and cardiac problems. People who volunteer generally report feelings of being happier as well. Seniors who volunteer have the chance to be social, be active, and be invested in the well being of their community.
Arts & Crafts
Arts and crafts can provide a fun source of stimulation for the brain. From painting, to sculpting, to scrapbooking and photography, there are a plethora of outlets available for seniors to express themselves in a fun and inventive way. Art is a vital activity for people of every age, but for seniors it can be a useful way to keep the brain active and alert, socialize, and help give those dementia a chance at a better quality of life.
Walking is a great, low-impact physical activity that most seniors can accomplish and enjoy. Cardiovascular exercise is important to overall quality of health, but as we age it can become harder to engage in intense physical exercise that will strengthen our heart. Even just taking a 20 minute walk every day can elevate your heart rate, reduce blood pressure, and strengthen the cardiac muscles. According to Michael A Schwartz, MD of Plancher Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in New York, walking is good for the bones and it can stop the loss of bone mass for people with osteoporosis. Better still - add in a weight-bearing exercise like climbing a few flights of stairs to rebuild bone mass.
We’ve mentioned it before, but gardening can be a highly beneficial hobby for seniors to pick up. Gardening is one of the most effective ways for seniors to maintain a healthy active lifestyle into old age. It’s a rich and rewarding activity that stimulates the senses, reconnecting you with nature and depending on what you plant, rewarding you with beautiful and delicious byproducts. Gardening also provides its benefits to your physical health, helping you get a moderate amount of exercise and sunlight. According to one study published by Kansas State University, gardening is an excellent way for seniors to shed calories and increase flexibility.
One of the best ways to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle into your senior years is the sport of golf. Instead of placing strain on the body, golf simply requires some light conditioning, soaking in the sun, and is also an excellent outlet for socializing. As we’ve explained before, light exercises for seniors and socializing are important for staying healthy and living longer. If you’re already an occasional to daily golf player, you’ve likely been thinking about the possibility of golfing once you’ve retired. Read our list on the 6 Best Golf Destinations for Seniors to get an idea of some great locations to check out.
Your senior can reap real benefits from the daily practice of yoga, both physically and mentally. Yoga focuses on enhancing your stability and balance which are essential for seniors. Exercises in yoga are usually gentle on the muscles and joints, and programs catering exclusively to seniors will be more doable. Plus, you don’t have to be in pristine shape to take part in a beginner’s class. Yoga enthusiasts will all testify to the efficacy of their practice in enhancing both their physical and mental well being, plus there is always a yoga studio within a few miles if you live in or near a major metropolitan city.
There they are; The top healthy hobbies for seniors. While your loved one won’t experience dramatic improvements in health and well-being overnight, with regular practice, your family member will report feeling rejuvenated and energized. Are you looking into a senior living facility for your family member that will support their senior health? Landmark Senior Living is available today to take you and your loved one for a tour at one of our seven premier and affordable communities. Call now for more information!