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Healthy Hobbies for Seniors
January is National Hobby Month and while we typically focus on “getting fit and eating right”, hobbies are just as important to maintaining a healthy and fulfilled life.  As children and teens, we all had hobbies like sports, musical instruments, reading, or playing games.  As seniors it’s important to continue to keep your minds and bodies busy with things you truly enjoy.

Below are some great ideas for maintaining an enriched social life through healthy hobbies and activities:

  1. Volunteering

    • volunteering for a local fundraiser, event or senior center provides socialization, a sense of accomplishment and self-worth.  Feeling helpful in the community provides satisfaction in knowing you are helping other, while also helping to keep seniors stimulated and avoiding isolation.  Check your local community calendar for upcoming events.
  2. Pet Care

    • pets provide comfort and companionship and is scientifically proven to reduce stress and increase serotonin levels.  Caring for even a small pet will help reduce blood pressure, fight depression and help reduce loneliness and isolation. Whether for your own “furr-being” or helping a friend or family, the benefits of pets are “Purr-fect”.
  3. Book Clubs

    • reading is a great way to keep the brain engaged.  Socializing about a common topic also helps to improve your memory and delay cognitive decline.  Books clubs not only create a social outlet for our seniors, but also an opportunity to gain new perspectives and friendships. Remember, using an e-reader or audiobook is another way to participate if physically reading a book becomes a challenge physically.
  4. Music & Dance

    • dancing is not only fun, but it’s a great way for seniors to exercise and socialize.  Dancing can improve balance, coordination, and overall serotonin levels.  Seek out local musicians and dance troops and enjoy the sounds and rhythm of the season.
  5. Games and Cards

    • whether playing Bridge or Scrabble, cards and games are an excellent way for seniors to keep their minds’ sharp. Research has shown that adults who enjoy mentally stimulating games may have bigger brains and sharper thinking skills with a lessor risk of cognitive decline. Critical thinking games or crossword puzzles are also great ways to keep the brain fit.
Other great hobbies include anything you loved as a child, like artwork or crafts, coloring, walking, swimming, or playing with toys.  What did you love to do growing up?  Caregivers are a great resource for helping to bring fun and games into your daily routine.  Hobbies are not just for the young, but also the young at heart!
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