According to the National Institute on Aging (NIA), participating in activities you enjoy is more than just fun and games; it may also help support healthy aging. So if you’re like many older adults who find themselves spending more and more time at home alone, it’s time to explore the benefits of an active lifestyle.
Social Benefits Add Up
Research from the NIA suggests seniors who stay active:
▪ Are less likely to develop certain diseases.
▪ Are happier and less depressed.
▪ Are better prepared to cope with loss.
▪ May be able to improve their thinking.
▪ Have a longer lifespan.
With all those benefits, it just makes sense to get active, involved and engaged. We have a few suggestions to help you discover (or rediscover) your interests.
Get Out and About
Studies indicate seniors who participate in what they believe are meaningful activities in their communities feel happier and healthier. Ideas to consider:
▪ Visit a senior center and take part in its events and activities.
▪ Join a group interested in a hobby—from birdwatching to painting or wood carving.
▪ Play cards or other games with friends and neighbors.
Learn Something New
One line of research is pursing how participating in ongoing education and creative arts might help people age well. Opportunities to explore:
▪ Try a cooking, art, dance or computer class at the community college.
▪ Go online and find a yoga, Tai Chi or other exercise class.
▪ Form or join a book or film club.
Studies suggest that volunteering can help with stress and depression from the death of a spouse or other loved one. Options to pursue:
▪ Serve meals or organize clothing donations for people in need.
▪ Donate time to a school, library, museum or hospital.
▪ Care for cats or dogs at an animal shelter.
▪ Run errands for people with disabilities.
Get Physically Active
One study showed that older adults who took part in physical activities lived longer than people who did not. Pursuits to try:
▪ Sign up for an older adults sports league like bowling or bocce.
▪ Teach your grandchildren a game or dance you remember from childhood.
▪ Take up gardening or tackle a little yard work.
How Will You Balance it All?
There’s a fine line between just enough activities—and stressful overload. Everyone has limits, and the goal is not to take on too many new activities at once. Try adding one or two new hobbies or pursuits to your routine. You can always add more. Then simply enjoy all the mind, body and spirit benefits of active living.
Health & Wellness Is Our Priority! Retirement communities like Vista Grande Villa offer so many social opportunities to stay active and engaged in life. Residents say we offer more desirable activities than they can fit in their schedule. Contact us to learn more!