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HEALTHY AGEING

Seven inexpensive and easy hobbies for retirees

Retirement is the perfect time to take up new interests that help to keep the mind and body active.

January 05, 2023

Old person enjoying gardening with a wrist worn personal alarm

Retirement can be challenging for older adults as they give up an integral part of their lives when they stop working. However, retirement doesn't have to be boring and lonely; it can mark the start of a new chapter with new goals. Moreover, as per the data from The National Institute of Aging, it is crucial to maintain an active lifestyle as we age as it helps to improve mental and physical abilities. Taking up new hobbies could be a beneficial way to do this, and those hobbies don't have to be expensive. This article discusses inexpensive hobbies that older adults can invest their time in after retirement and how these activities can help them enjoy an independent life. 

Reading

Reading is an inexpensive hobby that can be carried at your own pace anywhere and anytime you wish. It is ideal for stimulating the brain and keeping it active. Moreover, reports show that reading can help with proper sleep, lowering blood pressure and heart rate, improving memory, alleviating anxiety, delaying the onset of dementia, and living independently for longer. Reading material can take many different forms, like newspapers, magazines, e-books, short stories, online articles, and many more. If you are worried about purchasing new books all the time, you can also start or join an existing social book club that might help you connect and engage with new friends. In a book club, you can exchange books with friends or other group members.

Gardening

One of the most popular retirement hobbies is gardening, as it's rewarding, joyful, and nurturing. In addition, many older adults enjoy gardening as it allows them to be outdoors often, and watching plants grow is gratifying. Gardening keeps retirees busy as it requires a lot of time and effort to start gardening and to take care of all the plants. This activity has been reported to enhance stamina, brain function, and agility in older adults. Moreover, active involvement in gardening helps with weight loss since plenty of movement is involved. People with arthritis or difficulty bending can also pick up gardening as their hobby by planting in raised beds or putting indoor plants in pots on shelves so that they are easy to reach without bending. If planting a garden isn’t possible, take a look to see if there are local community projects or allotments to get involved with.

Writing for relaxation

Woman writing down her thoughts

Writing doesn’t have to mean writing a book; instead, jotting down personal experiences or starting a gratitude journal can be a satisfying way to pass the time. Jotting down memories or happy things can help in boosting confidence and self-esteem in older adults. These pleasant memories can be a medium to vent and counteract negative emotions. Retirement can create despondency or a lack of routine; however, writing about personal experiences can be valuable in maintaining a disciplined daily routine and allows older adults to express themselves. In addition, putting down thoughts on paper can assist in visualising creative ideas efficiently. 

Birdwatching

Birdwatching is one of the most therapeutic hobbies for older adults after retirement. It combines the positives of plenty of benefits; older adults can get out into the fresh air - refreshing their mind, body and soul and interacting with nature's remarkable species. Engaging in regular activity and keeping active can be helpful in slowing down the progression of dementia. In addition, spending time in nature can help combat stress, anxiety, and depression, proving it to be a beneficial hobby for people with dementia, as being outdoors and listening to birdsongs can help them remember memories from their younger years. Along with mental stimulation, birdwatching is excellent for physical well-being as well. Often, it requires walking some way to catch a glimpse of a bird, providing an opportunity for a perfect cardiovascular workout, which is fantastic for the heart.

Doing yoga for balance

After retirement, it's essential to incorporate some form of physical activity into our daily routine to maintain our physical and mental fitness. Yoga can be a perfect new physical activity as it has ample benefits for older adults. For example, it helps delay the onset of osteoporosis, which leads to weak or brittle bones. Additionally, it is a relaxing practice to relieve all the tension in the body, lowering hypertension and heart rate, reducing anxiety, and improving sleep habits. Finally, as we age, we become more susceptible to falls because of frailty, and the slow movements of yoga poses can be an excellent way to improve balance and strength, which can also prevent falls. In addition, there are community groups to practice yoga, which could be good for combating loneliness as well. Before beginning any physical or fitness activity, consult a GP to check that the exercise is suitable.

Volunteering for a local charity

After retirement, one of the most inexpensive and kindest hobbies is volunteering for a local charity. Volunteering would not only benefit the charity, but it could help in combatting loneliness by meeting new people and making new friends. In addition, retirement might take away the sense of purpose from life; supporting a charity is a perfect start to finding meaning and fulfilment in life. Moreover, doing something for others without expecting anything in return has a feel-good factor, which supports better sleep quality and could reduce hypertension.

Crocheting and knitting

Older woman knitting happily

Along with physical workouts, focusing on mental training and choosing activities that stimulate the mind is crucial. One easy hobby for seniors that provides excellent mental exercise is crocheting and knitting. Unfortunately, many older adults struggle with cognitive impairment, including occasional forgetfulness or dementia. However, according to a study, activities like crocheting and knitting can reduce the possibility of developing mild cognitive impairment by 30-50 per cent. Craft activities can also assist with maintaining hand-eye coordination and improving motor skills. 

Staying safe whilst enjoying hobbies outdoor

There are a myriad of hobbies ideally suited to the needs of older adults that can help in enjoying an independent life as safely as possible. However, taking proper precautions while trying out new hobbies and interests is essential, both for the older adult taking part and for the family's peace of mind. 

personal alarm and GPS tracker in the same small device could be a great option as it works both inside the home and anywhere else the wearer takes.

With a built-in fall detector, this type of device enables a two-way conversation between the individual and the 24-hour Emergency Resolution Team, so help is always on hand should it be needed, with the GPS capability giving an accurate location if required.

Independent living products brochure

Learn how personal alarms and home monitoring solutions can keep you or your loved ones safe and independent at home.

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Ways to support independent living

Independent living products brochure

Learn how personal alarms and home monitoring solutions can keep you or your loved ones safe and independent at home.

Download brochure


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