Are you a senior looking for some ways to keep active? It’s easier than you might have imagined.
Maintaining an active lifestyle is certainly a good for people of all ages. For seniors, staying active can bring all kinds of benefits. These include strength and balance improvement; better mood and feelings; lowered risk of stroke, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer; enhanced ability to learn, think and make decisions; and enhanced appreciation of one’s self.
Many seniors suffer from boredom as a result of isolation or health conditions that may limit their ability to be active. This issue shouldn’t be treated lightly. Isolation affects both physical and mental well-being and can be a precursor to depression.
Here are a 9 ideas to get you active as a senior:
1. Take advantage of the services that are offered at senior centers.
Senior centers can be found in various communities whether large or small, urban or rural and are amazing resources. Some senior centers are operated by the county or city with local public funding. There is everything from day programs and support groups to classes and social meals. Some of the things you can explore include volunteer placement services, therapeutic massage, political forums, health clinics, outdoor hikes, dances, and more.
2. Do a variety of activities for enhanced physical balance and strengthening.
These activities can include moderate aerobic exercises, dancing, brisk walking, swimming, raking leaves, simple hand weights lifting, balancing, doing Tai Chi, and yoga. In doing an aerobic activity, aim for one that you can do for 30 minutes on several days of the week. Remember to seek a doctor’s advice on the level and types of physical activity that are suitable for you. This can be particularly necessary if you have some health issues such as diabetes, obesity or heart disease.
3. Be a volunteer or attend local events.
Get involved in the community by volunteering or attending local events. Discover new things, meet new people, and acquire a new passion. Maintain your health and positive outlook by doing activities that are not only enjoyable but are also meaningful. Some great volunteering opportunities can be found at Habitat for Humanity, United Service Organizations, Senior Corps, the Red Cross and countless others. You can also consider libraries, schools, childcare facilities, community centers and non-profits in your neighborhood
4. Start or pursue a hobby.
There’s no such thing as being too late to start a new hobby. opt for something that interests you and could motivate and inspire. It’s also a great opportunity to make new friends who share the same hobby and passion. With more time in your hands, now is your chance to discover the many benefits of pursuing a hobby
5. Perform mind-stimulating activities.
Mind-stimulating activities such as solving puzzles and playing memory games can help keep adults stay fit, sharp and witty. Although our ability to learn suffers from a sudden decrease in momentum when we reach the ages of 5, 25, and 40, it doesn’t mean that we can also expect to lose our brain. You can solve crossword puzzles, play computer games, play a musical instrument, read informative books and magazines, learn a new language, and more.
6. Go on a road trip.
Road trips are one of the best ways to explore new sights and places while getting some well-deserved relaxation time. For retired seniors, you can take advantage of various perks such as senior travel deals and the flexibility to pick up and go depending on your schedule. To make the most out of your trip, you need to remember a few important things. First, choose a destination. Next, make an itinerary and identify your route. Get your vehicle checked including tire pressure and fluid levels before you leave. Pack smart and include an emergency kit, enough medication, and health insurance cards. Lastly, remember to drive safely
7. Grow an herb garden.
Growing an herb garden is easy and requires little to no experience in gardening. It’s also very easy to maintain. Benefits of herb gardening is that you can grow your own herbs easily which then allows for experimenting with new and varying herbs. Some of the herbs that grow great indoors include thyme, basil, oregano, lemongrass, chives, parsley, and mint.
8. Share your knowledge or expertise through teaching.
Do you have a specific skill or knowledge and interested to share it with others? Volunteer to teach a class by becoming an instructor. Research and check for the requirements in teaching as well as your eligibility to teach. If you’re looking for opportunities that require minimal pre-requisites, you can try conducting classes in Zumba, Yoga, dance, baking, sewing, cooking, boxing and cycling.
9. Catch up on your reading by going to the library.
Go to the library and check out a book or two. Reading keeps your mind alert and more conscious of the world. Bookstores have bookshelves filled with books, too, or stop by a café.
Here’s to being an active senior!