By: Jason Lewis ~ Strongwell | January 2017 |
The top two things seniors should be doing to maintain their wellbeing are exercising and socializing. Far too many seniors suffer the consequences of social isolation and sedentary lifestyles, leading to memory problems, mental illnesses, and physical health concerns. All of these issues can be mitigated with friends, activities, and hobbies. Here are a few incredible activities to do to make enjoying the golden years possible.
1. Walking Clubs
According to the American Heart Association, walking may be one of the most efficient ways for seniors to maintain a healthy heart. This low impact, simple exercise can be worked into your daily routine and requires no equipment or transportation. It’s the perfect way to ensure you get out of the house at least once a day and enjoy the fresh air.
To encourage commitment to your daily walks, you might consider joining a senior walking club within your community. Most YMCA has walking clubs. By joining one of these groups, not only will you work to improve your physical health, but you also will make connections with peers.
2. Tai Chi Classes
Tai chi is a popular way for seniors to stay fit due to its focus on balance. Seniors who practice tai chi are less likely to experience a severe fall thanks to balance-based exercises, improved flexibility, and increased strength. Tai chi is low impact, easy to learn, and may take place outside. Furthermore, tai chi classes are an excellent way to meet new people and connect over your shared interest in the practice.
3. Swim Aerobics
Swim aerobics also are a very common way for seniors to stay fit. The water helps by lifting the weight off the joints and reducing pain while seniors exercise their muscles. Water-based exercises are superb for building strength and lung function, relieving joint pain, and improving flexibility. By taking a class at a nearby pool, you have a great reason to leave the house, get active, and be social.
4. Cultivating a Community Garden
There are few things more rewarding than growing your food. Unfortunately, fewer and fewer people have the space to grow a garden in their yards. This roadblock to the therapeutic hobby of gardening has led community gardens springing up in cities around the world. By renting a local community garden plot, you will be able to get outside, be active, grow food, and enjoy the company of others in the community. You may even grow enough produce to participate in local events such as farmers markets and county fairs.
5. Volunteer Groups
With retirement in full swing, there never has been a better time to devote yourself to a worthy cause. Senior volunteers have the potential to make all the difference with their open schedules and free time. Volunteering also is a wonderful way to meet and make lifelong connections with others.
Volunteering has been shown to improve one’s mental health by boosting self-esteem and mood. The challenges faced and new information learned while volunteering also can help keep seniors’ minds sharp. A more physically demanding opportunity such as raking leaves can be a good way to maintain fitness while reaping the mental benefits of helping others.
Living a healthy lifestyle is the best way to get the most out of your golden years. Retirement is a time to relax and enjoy life, but it’s difficult to do so when you are bogged down by physical or mental illness. Leading a sedentary lifestyle with limited social interaction is a risk many seniors face, yet it is fully within your power to decide whether to do something about it. So, get active and get social. Your mind and your body will thank you for it.
DISCLAIMER: Please note: Some links will take you off the Spunky Seniors Club’s site. Therefore, we’re not responsible for the content. Please consult with your doctor(s) before starting or engaging in any activities, dietary or medical changes.