In the world of hectic lifestyles, taking up hobbies is viewed as a form of self-care that distracts people from the noisy world for a while, thereby improving many aspects of life and health.
For seniors alone, hobbies are more than just whiling away the hours. Seniors are encouraged to take up new hobbies or rekindle old ones to rediscover their sense of self and increase their life satisfaction.
Discover 7 reasons why seniors should find their way back to old hobbies.
Rediscovering Old Hobbies: 7 Reasons Why Seniors Should Rekindle Their Old Passion During Retirement
Revisiting Old Hobbies: How Does It Benefit Seniors?
According to the dictionary, a hobby is a pursuit outside of one’s occupation that is engaged in especially for relaxation.
In other words, a hobby is an activity that you indulge in your spare time out of your interest and enjoyment, not for business purposes. The activities can be done indoors or outdoors, ranging from reading, painting, and collecting something to camping, gardening, and hiking.
Improves Physical Health
Several hobbies can help seniors exercise without spending hours in the gym or exercise club. Of course, seniors are warned to avoid too much physical activity, but moving their bodies through an old passion can bring surprising benefits to their health.
Some active hobbies, including swimming, tai chi, dancing, hiking, photography, walking, and cycling, are good alternatives to traditional exercises that keep seniors fit.
For example, not many see gardening as a form of exercise, but pulling weeds and digging in the dirt can benefit seniors’ physical strength, hand-eye coordination, and endurance. Sun exposure also contributes to stronger bones, reducing the risk of fractures and osteoporosis.
Stimulates Cognitive Health
As we age, cognitive decline is unavoidable. While mild cognitive decline is a normal part of aging, severe symptoms rule out a different story. Brain aging, such as poor thinking and judgment, can prevent seniors from navigating their lives at their best and cut into life quality.
Reconnecting with old hobbies is advantageous for cognitive health. Many hobbies can provide tremendous benefits to stimulate brain functions and maintain cognitive abilities. Leisure activities empower seniors to work up their brain muscles and sharpen their minds in creative and fun ways.
For instance, doing crafts may help lower the risks of cognitive decline. Engaging in art projects like painting and coloring is believed to put the brain into a meditative state, boost logical thinking, and activate the brain’s neural functioning.
Why do seniors often fall sick? Much like other bodily deteriorations manifested with advanced ages, the immune system becomes less effective in fending off diseases. While eating a nutritious diet, getting enough sleep, and reducing stress are some healthy ways to boost health, revisiting hobbies can surprisingly restore seniors’ immunity and aid in the management of chronic diseases.
Some physical hobbies allow for movement, and staying physically active greatly contributes to the body’s natural defenses. Walking is a moderate, low-impact activity that any senior can benefit from to give their health a boost. A study conducted on over 1,000 men and women during flu season discovered that those who walked at least 20 minutes a day and 5 days a week had fewer sick days than ones exercising at least once a week. Even if they got sick, they recovered faster with milder symptoms.
Outdoor hobbies, like fishing, are a perfect chance for seniors to venture outside and soak up the sunlight. Sunlight exposure is another factor in illness prevention. Numerous studies have noted that spending more time under the sun could help lower the risk of catching the flu, reduce respiratory symptoms, improve eye health, and decrease mortality rates. However, too much sunlight can damage the skin, so remind your parents to wear sunscreen and protective clothes if they stay outdoors longer.
Stress reduction is another benefit of rekindling old hobbies. In the fast-paced lifestyle and hectic schedules, more and more adults have less time for hobbies. Retirement years are the perfect time for seniors to reclaim their time and rediscover their long-lost passion.
Much research has shown hobbies are a natural way to improve mental health. Depending on each senior’s perspective, hobbies are the gateway to greater happiness and gratification after years of working and fulfilling familial obligations.
Indulging in a hobby can switch off the brain chatter and let seniors focus on something they are passionate about, fostering a deeper sense of relaxation. Partaking in old hobbies gives seniors more freedom to do whatever they want.
Keep in mind that seniors were once a child with dreams and hopes. Rediscovering old hobbies is a wonderful way to reconnect with your inner child and unearth your potential. Whether solving an intricate puzzle or cycling to the destination, these hobbies can help seniors build their confidence and engage deeply with the world around them.
Provides A Sense of Purpose
The aging journey is not easy. Seniors may become disoriented and confused due to a lot of health changes occurring in parallel. This inevitable life stage can cause seniors to lose their identity and purpose, as they are unsure how to cope with unforeseen events.
Having too much time on hand is another reason for the loss of purpose in seniors. Now that they can do whatever they want, seniors often get caught up in the never-ending cycle of doing the same things every day. While some are harmless, scrolling through the phones aimlessly and watching TV can be detrimental to seniors’ health in the long run.
Playing drums or writing poems after decades can help seniors overcome age-related challenges and become more aware of their surroundings. Taking back an old hobby also helps seniors avoid the lack of direction by reconstructing their lives and shaping their everyday routines. In addition to essential daily tasks, seniors now can have something to look forward to other than binge-watching Netflix or Hulu.
Increases Social Engagement
Retirement can bring many benefits, but downsides also come along. Post-retirement loneliness is a health epidemic among seniors that is not discussed enough. Reports disclose that loneliness can be as dangerous as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
Loneliness can be provoked by many things, such as grieving the loss of their spouse, having no one come over, the lack of attention from children and extended family, not to mention age-related health problems and financial burdens associated with the aging lifestyle.
Another benefit of rushing back to old hobbies or joining hobby clubs is increased social engagement. Revisiting old hobbies is a fantastic opportunity for seniors to stave off boredom, expand their horizons, meet new faces, and share passion with people with the same interests. This is especially helpful for seniors dealing with depression because rekindling their long-lost passions can fill their lives with more chuckles, new memories, and meaning.
If you have questions about rediscovering old hobbies in the golden years or any topics discussed here, connect with us and learn more.
At 12 Oaks, our team of caring professionals is dedicated to keeping residents safe, engaged, and connected to their families and friends while leading fulfilling lives. 12 Oaks Senior Living Communities are an ideal place to enjoy the encore season of life.
For questions or to schedule a personalized tour, don’t hesitate to contact us.
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