Finding the recipe for staying happy and healthy isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition because each individual has different interests and hobbies that they’d like to pursue. One thing seniors need to remember is that remaining active doesn't always have to mean hitting the gym. Here’s a list of 6 areas that seniors can focus their energy to find appealing activities that will boost their joy and revitalize their body.
1. Learning on the Go
One of the best ways to keep the mind and body engaged is by finding educational activities that require the participant to be active. Not only is the body an active participant in the recreation, but the brain is staying sharp while processing the information within the task.
A great example of this style of engagement is spending a day at the museum. Seniors must walk from exhibit to exhibit as they learn more about the history or art displayed at the museum. While the mind is busy thinking about what is appealing or not appealing about the work, the body is forced to remain active and engaged as well.
Finding activities similar to this specific example is a great way to invigorate the body through constant movement while keeping the mind captivated. Go learn how money is made at the US Mint, explore our nation's history in DC, or visit other landmarks across the country, like the USS Lexington in Corpus Christi.
2. Read More Books
Another way to challenge the brain while keeping the body engaged is by listening to audiobooks while performing other tasks like gardening, walking, etc. Listening to a good book can make the time pass by faster, so seniors may be more motivated to keep moving.
If audiobooks aren't your cup of tea, seniors can also go to the library and search for their next good read. Walking around the shelves of books is a great way to get some extra steps in. Not only is there a constant stream of new titles to fulfill your interests, but there are also several avenues for volunteering that adds a social element to this activity.
You can also have a book club that uses relaxed group walks in the park to accent the central discussion of the current book.
3. Walking With a Friend or Family
Perhaps the most straightforward activity on this list, walking can be the most beneficial and therapeutic activity that costs you nothing other than time. Great for getting the muscles engaged, walking provides numerous health benefits that are hard to deny.
If you are looking to add a social aspect to your walk, having a friend or family member join your daily walk allows you the opportunity to deepen your relationships and help use your brain to look at various topics analytically.
4. Engage Nature
Getting outside and allowing a little sun-provided vitamin D to reach your skin is proven to stave off depression and promotes the strength of healthy bones. Whether it be through sport participation or getting into the flower bed and pulling weeds, becoming more connected with nature is great for the body and soul.
Another benefit of spending more time outside is that you can do it with other people, providing a support system that provides plenty of opportunities for social engagement. There is an infinite supply of outdoor activities to choose from that can custom fit your interests.
We love the Cherry Creek State Park in Colorado, the Flat Rock Brook Nature Center in New Jersey, and the Dallas Arboretum in Texas. But there are beautiful location across the country that seniors can enjoy.
5. Giving Back
Volunteering is a beautiful exercise that promotes well-being while helping others. There are plenty of non-profit businesses that need low-impact volunteering to help them maintain their bottom line of providing for those who need help. For example, Comal County in Texas hosts a Senior Serv-a-Thon to help the elderly get involved and give back.
One of the most significant factors in keeping away an early death is by staying active. Simply standing throughout the day can keep your body healthy, and your mind occupied for better overall health. A great way to accomplish this without becoming bored is by factoring in several hours a week at a volunteering location.
6. Hit the Golf Course
Although it may be a cliche, playing golf is a wonderful way to engage your body from a physical, mental, and social angle. Speaking specifically in health terms, taking up golf at an older age has been shown to increase life expectancy, improve heart health, and push away diseases caused by inactivity. For new golfers, a training aid is a must to let them help to improve their game.
When targeting the areas of how golf benefits the mind, golfers have to process several factors on the course before hitting the ball for each shot. These variables force the golfer who takes into account the wind, the lie of the ball, and what type of club, whether it be an iron or wood, is best for each shot.
Finally, no other game brings people together like a day at the course. Not only are you playing for a few hours, but you are challenging each other through competition or teamwork. If you're looking for a place to golf, Phoenix is home to over 200 golf courses.
It is vitally important for seniors to stay active in mind, body, and spirit. By engaging all areas of the body, seniors can ward off disease and keep their mental and physical fitness at a high level.