Exercising the mind to keep it active is as important as maintaining physical fitness and strength in older age. Throughout our lives, our brain is responsible for keeping us happy, and, as we get older, mental health is often a major part of being able to live independently.
There are many benefits of exercising when you’re a senior, including:
How Do You Define Play?
Dr. Stuart Brown, who has spent decades studying the power of play, stresses that what constitutes “play” will vary between individuals, but that it should be about the joy of the experience, rather than accomplishing a goal. As long as the activity you choose is “purposeless, fun and pleasurable,” than you will be reaping the benefits of play.
Children are encouraged to play, to dream, and to engage in collaboration and creation. Parents know the myriad benefits of play: it strengthens the mind, fosters friendships, and encourages creativity. As children play, goals sprout from their imaginations. These goals are malleable, changing from day to day, moment to moment. Some are feasible and some are fantasy, although there’s often no reason to distinguish between the two.
Free Entertainment for Seniors
Since many older people are on a fixed budget, they have limited income for fun. To compensate, they can usually find free activities to help stay active socially and physically. Many local museums offer visitors a free night once a week or once a month.
- Active games and sports
- Dancing, karaoke, and other performance arts
- Parties and other social gatherings
- Traditional games and puzzles
- Animal interactions
- Gardening, bird-watching, and other outdoor pastimes
- Arts and crafts
- Active learning
- Outings and excursions
According to one study, four of the top five activities most commonly cited by seniors as being their favorites are, by their nature, very active.
What Are Good Hobbies For Seniors?
It’s important to be aware that staying active when you reach your twilight years doesn’t always mean intense or strenuous exercise. Indeed, it’s possible to instead focus on different hobbies that could be tremendously beneficial. The reason for this is that hobbies can offer easily form a long term part of an elderly resident’s life and there are numerous options to consider when looking at hobbies.
1. Group Exercise Classes
Group exercises, like yoga, tai chi, or Feldenkrais, are fun and social ways to improve flexibility and balance, which are key to preventing falls in older adults. Some communities offer chair exercise classes, while others may offer water aerobics programs, which can appeal to seniors who are living with arthritis.
But, well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.