Staying active is good for everyone, regardless of their age. But as a senior, it’s an extremely important part of aging well and living a comfortable and healthy life.
To stay healthy after 65, you should focus on improving strength and balance, but it’s also crucial to have an active lifestyle to help stave off feelings of isolation that seniors may have as a result of reduced mobility.
Whether it’s enjoying time with grandchildren or walking to meet some friends in the park, being able to stay healthy after 65 will keep depression and feelings of loneliness at bay.
Aging well is a matter of happiness and dignity, as much as it is one of health. Whether you’re aging in place at home or moving to one of the best retirement cities, you can quickly and easily integrate some these top 10 senior activities.
1. Make Use of Your Local Senior Center
Senior centers are common in most communities and have a host of great resources available to them. In many cases, senior centers are run and funded by the municipal government.
It isn’t uncommon to find senior activities such as classes for various subjects, volunteer placement services, therapeutic massages, outdoor walks or hikes, dance lessons, and much more.
Browsing through the phone book or a simple online search can give you a list of senior centers in your area. The people that run these centers are more than willing to help you find an activity that suits your needs and schedule.
2. Start a New Hobby or Pick Up an Old One
The idea of being too old to start something new has been debunked over and over again by people of all ages willing to pursue their passions.
There are plenty of hobbies that don’t require a special set of skills or extensive prior knowledge. Choose something that will keep your interest at a high level and keep you motivated to remain active with the hobby for years to come.
Maybe look back at something you used to do but gave up due to commitments. Make new friends with your hobby or seize the opportunity to spend more time with grandchildren and other loved ones.
3. Hit the Weights
Yes, you read that correctly! Fitness training isn’t only for athletes or younger people. Gyms and training centers that are tailored to seniors are popping up all over the place.
While it isn’t recommended that seniors start an intense weight lifting regimen or strenuous activity beyond what their health condition permits, it shouldn’t be out of the question to engage in some good old-fashioned fitness training.
Some of these fitness activities can include moderate aerobic exercises, brisk walking, simple hand weights lifting, balancing, doing Tai Chi, yoga, and exercise machines tailored to seniors.
With regards to aerobic activity, you should aim for one that you can perform for 30 minutes for at least a couple of days week and make sure to find a trainer that works with seniors.
As with any physical activity, be sure to seek a doctor’s advice on the level of physical activity that is suitable for you. This is especially necessary if you have health issues such as heart disease, diabetes, joint problems, or if you are overweight.
4. Try Volunteering
One of the things worth doing is giving back to the community and to those in need. Get more involved in the community by volunteering in any of a number of different areas.
You can maintain and improve on your health by doing activities that are enjoyable, get you active, and are meaningful at the same time. You can find worthwhile volunteering opportunities at the Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, Senior Corps, and others.
Further sources of volunteering activities to consider are non-profits, community centers, libraries, schools, and childcare facilities in your area.
5. Keep Your Mind Active
Stimulating your mind is an integral part of aging well. Doing activities such as solving puzzles and playing memory games can help keep seniors fit and sharp.
You can engage in activities such as solving crossword puzzles, learn a new language, play computer games, play a musical instrument, or reading. Taking a course at a local school or community college is also an option.
For those willing to go the extra mile, pursuing a degree in a field of study would be motivating and stimulating. It’s never too late to go back to school and the bragging points would be a great bonus. Not to mention, you would be giving your grandchildren a great role model.
6. Do Some Traveling
Traveling can be a great way to stay healthy after 65. Having the time and financial resources can give you the chance to explore new sights and places while getting some well-deserved relaxation time.
Retired seniors can make take advantage of things such as senior travel deals, making it even more affordable to see the world. If you aren’t keen on traveling to the other side of the world, a road trip every now and again can be a good option.
Make sure your vehicle is in proper working order for such a trip by checking tire pressure and fluid levels. Pack all necessary items including an emergency kit, any medication you are taking, and your health insurance cards.
Don’t limit yourself to sightseeing from within your car. Make stops and take a walk to visit any attractions in the area.
7. Get a Therapeutic Massage
Massages are one of the staples of an athlete’s regimen. They provide the body with the opportunity to heal after intense training sessions. The muscular, nervous, and cardiovascular systems all benefit from a massage.
We need to keep these aspects of our bodies in tune, well into our old age. If you find it difficult to continue doing physical activities that you enjoy due to certain chronic illnesses, therapeutic massages can help get you back on track to being active.
Exercise and other senior activities will get you going, but you’ll need a way to alleviate some of the age-related conditions that may be keeping you back. Massage therapy is just what you need.
When done regularly and by a therapist that understands the nuances of your condition, you can expect to have an improved quality of life and a lot more energy.
8. Release Your Green Thumb
Growing a garden is easy and requires very little experience. Maintenance is also a simple task and will keep you active without having to leave your yard.
One of the side benefits of gardening is that you can grow your own healthy vegetables and fruits that you can add to your healthy recipes.
If, on the other hand, you’d prefer to create a beautiful flower garden, the colors and scents are enough to add a different feel to your living space.
A garden of herbs is also an option, as you can even grow basil, oregano, thyme, and others in an indoor space.
9. Take a Dip with Water Aerobics
Swimming is a low impact activity that is great for staying in shape while keeping your joints safe.
Physical therapists do a lot of work with their patients in swimming pools for rehabilitation. It is also considered one of the best complementary types of activity for any training.
No matter where you live, there is bound to be a town pool, a beach, or a lake for you to go and have a swim. If your endurance has been lacking, consult with your physician first and try a swimming pool with a lifeguard.
Many gyms feature water aerobics. This can combine the benefits of low impact physical training with making new friends.
10. Get a Furry Friend
Getting a pet will keep you active every day. A dog will need to be walked twice a day, and if you get an active canine, you’ll be constantly petting it and giving it hugs.
An added bonus for those that have grandchildren is the extra attention you will get from them. Making new friends will also be a constant occurrence on your daily walks.
Whatever your current level of fitness, there’s always a way you can improve mobility and energy levels. Pick one of these fun senior activities today and commit to getting started. It won’t take long for you to feel the benefits!