My mom retired a couple years ago, and one of the things I’ve noticed is the amount of isolation and loneliness. Sure, some of it is self-inflicted, but since she doesn’t go somewhere every day, there’s a definite lack of social interaction.
But that doesn’t mean she can’t, or shouldn’t, enjoy activities that make her feel young. Lots of people that retire, or are aging, are having these same experiences. It’s time to get out there and start engaging in fun activities. It’s extremely important, for both your mental and physical health. Remember this: you are not too old to have fun and play.
Benefits of Being Active
Did you know that scientific studies found that people -of all ages- who participate in fun activities are better able to learn new skills? Being active also improves your memory, increases your social skills, helps you establish and maintain friendships. It also improves your emotional state, making you happier, and reducing your stress levels. You’ll also find improvements in your physical fitness, as well as a boosted immune system, which reduces illness.
Not sure what fun activities you’re interested in? No problem! We’ve compiled a list of fun activities you can enjoy no matter how old you are.
Spend Time Outdoors
As you get older, spending time outdoors in nature is relaxing and enjoyable; fresh air will lift your mood and boost your health. Enjoying relaxing outdoor activities such as gardening where it’s you need to focus and coordinate your senses together – smelling your soil and flowers, looking for any diseases or bugs, listening to insects, feeling the plant’s leaf. Try to spend time outside by taking up new hobbies like birdwatching, hiking, nature photography, kite flying, or even cycling and going on a picnic. Now, I’m not saying you need to go on 10-mile hikes and backpacking adventures – unless you want to.
These kinds of activities will improve your fitness, hand-eye coordination, muscles, flexibility, and balance.
- Walking with friends
- Tennis or squash
- Indoor / outdoor bowling
- Working out
- Yoga and meditation
Studies have found that our minds tend to be more creative as we age. Use this creativity and challenge your mind. There are no limits in arts and crafts, you can invent your own activity. Consider trying new activities like knitting, painting, quilting, mixed media collage, or even jewelry making. Try signing up for a class like watercolors, oil painting, or pottery too. These can be found at your local college for a reasonable price.
Adopt a pet. Pets increase positive energy all around them. Pets make us fall in love with them, and end up becoming a family member. They’re cuddly, lovable, will love you unconditionally and will be a faithful friend. Consider what kind of pet you’ll be able to care for, whether it’s a cat, dog, or even a bird. A small dog like a dachshund may be better for an older person that a Labrador that needs a lot of exercise. If you don’t want the responsibility of caring for a pet, you can volunteer at an animal shelter and show them some love. Shelters are always looking for volunteers.
Dancing & Performing
You’re never too old to dance! Dancing is one of the most social activities you can engage in because you need a dance partner or a group. Dancing benefits your heart, mind, and joints. Consider signing up for dance lessons for something like ballroom dancing, salsa, or even line dancing. When I was in college, I signed up for a line dancing class at our local community center. It was mostly senior citizens and retirees, but it was great fun, and good exercise.
Games are great for kids of all ages, and they make family time more fun! Games are a great way to socialize and compete. Puzzles, for example, will sharpen your mind and improve your hand-eye coordination, whether they’re crossword, jigsaw, or even 3D puzzles. There are tons of other card and board games that are great for working your brain too. They include:
Learn Something New!
There’s an old adage that says, “Never stop learning.” And it’s true! Learning has great benefits for us, at all ages and stages in life. Have you ever wanted to play music or speak another language? Maybe this is the right time to start learning something new. Developing new hobbies like singing, playing a musical instrument, or even writing stories are definitely ways you can pass the time and enhance your abilities. You can also learn magic tricks, photography, or even read a new book genre.
Meet New People
Be more sociable, and enjoy some good conversation. Try a trivia night at a local pub or wine bar. Take a cooking class. Get out there, dress up and go to the next neighborhood event. You can even plan your own themed house party and invite people over just for fun.
Yes, you are getting older, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a trip with your friends. Get them together and go explore a new place. Whether you’re travelling locally, domestically, or abroad, there are tons of activities to do. Go to theme parks even if you don’t like rollercoasters – there’s lots to do there. Visit nearby carnivals, county fairs, bazaars, or any museums or art galleries. Check out comedy clubs, arcades, attend the theater, go to concerts, sporting events, or explore a new city.
This sort of sums up all the benefits of previous activities. Why not volunteer your skills to people and places that need it? Find an organization in your town and find out how you can help. People generally think of charities like homeless outreach or animal shelters, but there are tons of places that run on volunteers. Places like the zoo, art museums, the parks departments, local amateur sports organizations, and so many more. Most people find volunteering and helping others to be extremely rewarding. You’ll also meet new people and expand your circle of friends with like-minded individuals.
Bottom line, age doesn’t matter. You get to decide what’s fun for you. Physical or health challenges shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying the rest of your life. If you can’t be active physically, try adapting or choose other fun activities that suit you. Get out there and enjoy life.