My Novels

Monday, June 25, 2012

Guest post: 10 Great Hobbies for Retirees

You have all this free time on your hands, now what?  Take advantage of your open schedule and spend your time cultivating hobbies that are not only fun but bring with them a sense of joy and fulfillment.
Now is a time in your life when you actually have the extra hours in the day to focus on technique and creativity.  If you are interested in the visual arts, you have the time, and hopefully the money, to spend on taking a few classes, learning the techniques necessary to feel comfortable expressing yourself visually.  Creating your masterpiece will help keep your thinking sharp as art uses both the left and right sides respectively, helping you to exercise it completely.
Hiking, kayaking, and swimming are all excellent forms of exercise that have fantastic benefits for the mind and the body.  Seniors should make hobbies of physical activities that require rhythmic activities because it helps the brain stay sharp by keeping it working.  Finding activities that can be done outdoors will help to reduce the risk of depression by getting you outdoors and out into the sunshine.
Gardening is a therapeutic hobby that can produce some excellent and beautiful results that one can continue to enjoy for some time.  Also, there is a sense of pride and accomplishment that is felt when you see your flowers or vegetables growing.  An added bonus to this particular activity is having fresh cut flowers to enjoy and brighten your day, or being able to cook and enjoy fresh organic healthy food you have grown yourself.
Spending your free hours volunteering at the library, your local YMCA, community center, or animal shelter is a great way to spend a few hours of your time.  Programs that depend on their volunteer support often suffer when there is a lack of dedicated souls to help them maintain their vision and bring their services to the community.  Not only does volunteering help your community, but while doing work that benefits others, it is therapeutic to you as well, and is an excellent way to get out of the house and develop new relationships.
Going back to school
Now that you have all this free time on your hands and a little extra cash in your pocket, it is a great opportunity for you to take a course or two at your local community college or university.  Did you ever want to learn about anthropology or did you want to maybe learn to speak Spanish or French?  Now is your chance.  Take advantage of your open schedule and further your education.
Extreme sports
In a time when nearly everyone at every age is working on creating and checking off their bucket lists, seniors are being encouraged to participate in more extreme sports than ever before.  It is almost common place to see a 60 or 70 year old bungee jumping or water skiing these days.  Why not, what an exciting and exhilarating hobby to have, you can guarantee it will never be boring.  Just be careful not to push yourself past your physical limits and risk injury.
If you are lucky, by the time you are considered a “senior,” you will have a small bit of expendable funds that you may be able to designate towards traveling.  I suppose through your lifetime you have accumulated a list of places you wish to see at some point or would like to visit.  Traveling is a fantastic hobby to have ads it will continue to teach you and challenge your mind and spirit as you experience new cultures and people.
Dancing is a classic sport and is great for the soul as well as your physical well being.  The fact that it is an activity that requires focus, memory and attention to rhythmic activity will help to keep your mind sharp.  It is also a great way to meet other people with similar interests, and learn about other cultures as you study different styles and their history.
There are few hobbies that are quite as satisfying as cooking.  There are always new developments in the culinary world and its technology, and it is a field completely dependent on creativity, so there is no limit to what you can do with food if you have the time to try.  You can also share the fruits of your labor with your family and share your love through your food.
There is a new trend in upcycling and crafting these days, and this particular hobby provides you with the wonderful opportunity to turn your hobby into a small business by selling your items on sites like Etsy, or simply using what you create to decorate your own personal space.

George Shaw works with nursing homes in California to keep retired seniors happy, active and healthy.