Not only are hobbies like chess, singing, playing an instrument, and baking a great way to pass the time, but they have numerous health advantages for people. Studies find that all types of unlikely activities are beneficial for older adults.
Whether you’re already adept at some of these activities or are eager to learn, you can enjoy them in the right community.
Here are some unique activities with benefits for older adults:
Older adults unfamiliar with video games might not know that they come with health benefits. For instance, Wii Sports offers moderative physical activity and socialization.
But what is Wii Sports? In a nutshell, it’s a video game that features golf, tennis, baseball, and other sports. The Wii console features a motion controller that allows you to control the athletes on screen with your movements.
Interestingly, you can play video games like Wii Sports in a social setting in a modern retirement home nowadays. You can also try more traditional games in a top retirement community like Jeopardy, Laddery Golf, bowling, and much more.
Other games you can play for mental and physical health benefits include chess, checkers, backgammon, and ludo. Studies show that these games help you in numerous ways:
- Improved memory
- Greater perception
- Enhanced decision making
- Better problem solving
- More patience
- Happier mood
- Less anxiety and stress
There is nothing like blasting classic tunes from your childhood and teenage years with other older adults during karaoke night. But did you know that according to the National Library of Medicine (NIH), karaoke has multiple health benefits for older adults too?
Subjects of the study displayed Improved frontal executive cognitive skills, tongue pressure, and respiratory function. Of course, karaoke helps people socialize too.
#3 Musical Instrument
Many older adults learn an instrument in retirement. Playing music can help create a calm and relaxing environment. Benefits of playing a musical instrument include:
- Lower heart rates
- Regulated blood pressure
- Slower respiratory rates
- Enhanced concentration
- Better memory retention
- Greater self-confidence
#4 Baking and Cooking
There’s nothing like baking or cooking a nice healthy meal for yourself. You know your body better than anyone and can cook a hearty meal perfect for your taste buds and digestive system.
In addition, cooking a lovely family recipe can stir up pleasant memories of family traditions. It can also heighten senses such as taste, smell, touch, and sight, improving cognitive function for older adults.
Of course, nothing will help you make friends faster than baking a delicious pie for others around you in your retirement home’s community kitchen.
Many older adults choose to give back to their community in their retirement years. They may volunteer at a soup kitchen, coach a sports team, or counsel at-risk kids.
Retired older adults who volunteer usually leverage all the skills they’ve developed over the years to assist others. For instance, a retired landscaper may teach a few gardening classes to people in the community. Recalling these skills improves an older adult’s mood.
Volunteering is a great way to add some physical activity to your daily routine. It can also reduce loneliness, depression, and stress. Selflessly giving back to the community also builds relationships, improves self-esteem, and strengthens friendships.
The bottom line is that activities of all types can have hidden benefits. Whether you enjoy conventional activities like bingo or unconventional activities like video games, you and those around you will benefit from your positive energy.