Keeping your Mind and Body Healthy - Discover the Best Hobbies to Enjoy in your Retirement
Post by: Eastlands Estate, 28 Oct 2019
Your retirement is the perfect time to discover new hobbies, or reignite your interest in old ones. During your working years, it was a challenge to find enough time to spend on the things you really enjoyed. Now that you’re retired however, time is your friend, so hobbies can once again be given the attention they deserve! Many studies, in fact, show that retired people spend up to six hours a day involved in leisure and/or sports activities.
Hobbies are actually an important part of your life no matter what age or stage you’re at, but they are particularly important in retirement for a host of reasons – both physical and mental. Numerous studies show that hobbies reduce boredom, improve your health, and can even increase your life expectancy.
Why Do Hobbies Have Such Amazing Benefits?
A big part of it is the routine they help to bring to our lives. If you know you have bowls on Wednesday and Pilates on Friday, this helps create structure. Even though you may no longer set your alarm in the mornings, or endure the daily commute in the rush hour, a certain amount of predictability and routine helps promote happiness and wellbeing.
Hobbies also make it easier to interact with others, which we know is one of the habits we can easily lose when we stop working. Without the stimulation of our work colleagues for company, we need to find other ways to connect with people. Research shows that loneliness is as harmful to our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day! The simple act of regularly engaging with other people through community, social, creative or physical activities can increase our well-being by up to 20 percent.
Hobbies that involves some kind of physical activity – even if it’s gentle - can help prevent or control chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and even some forms of cancer. Hobbies can also lower blood pressure by reducing stress and improving sleep. They can also improve self-esteem, which is one of the things known to diminish as we age. By choosing a physical hobby, you’re boosting your chances of being healthier and happier in your senior years.
Our brains naturally begin to decline in our early to mid-60s, which is around the time most of us will retire. Hobbies that engage our brains are hugely important when it comes to staving off brain illnesses, such as dementia. Anything that enhances our problem-solving skills – such as crossword puzzles, word search, chess, joining a book club or keeping a daily journal– are great for keeping our brains sharp and engaged.
What are the Best Hobbies for Seniors?
Swimming is an excellent aerobic exercise that doesn’t put pressure on your joints. If you suffer from osteoarthritis, swimming is likely to be the exercise you’ll find the easiest. You get all the benefits of being physical without aggravating your condition. Swimming is also a great way to improve your flexibility and overall cardiovascular fitness. It also helps improve muscle tone and can even help with posture. And of course, when the weather’s hot, you get the added benefit of being able to cool off while getting beneficial exercise!
At Eastlands, we have an indoor heated pool as well as an outdoor lap pool, so you can enjoy all the benefits swimming provides no matter what the weather’s doing! We also have regular swimming aerobics classes, which are a great way to meet new people and enjoy exercising together.
Playing Cards and Games
Whether it’s Scrabble or Bridge, cards and other games are excellent ways for you to not only enjoy socialising with others, but to also keep your mind sharp. Extensive research shows that adults who play mentally stimulating games may have better cognitive skills and bigger brains than those who don’t. Mental stimulation is commonly lined to a decreased risk of cognitive decline as we age as it helps to keep the synapses in our brains better connected.
At Eastlands, we have a very active bridge club, so there’s always a group eager to have a game!
Even something as simple as regularly meeting friends for a cup of tea and a chat can cut your risk of dying prematurely in half! Loneliness is significantly more dangerous to our longevity than obesity, so making sure you’re part of a strong social network is very important.
At Eastlands, we have an active Social Club that meets regularly, and always welcomes new members. There’s no excuse for anyone to feel lonely!
Arts and crafts, as well as being fun and stimulating, can also be therapeutic, making it one of the best activities for you as you age. And if you’re part of a knitting, painting or scrapbooking group, for example, you get the added benefit of socialising at the same time – the ultimate two-fer!
At Eastlands, we have a well-equipped Craft Room, offering painting lessons, scrapbooking and general arts and crafts activities. Come and join us and let your creativity shine!
These are just a few of the many activities on offer to our residents at Eastlands. We also have a well-stocked Library, a gym for Pilates and aerobics, a bowling green and active bowls club, a knitting club and fun quiz nights.
Why not come and see for yourself why an Eastlands retirement is anything but retiring! Make an appointment today.
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