There’s no better time to explore new hobbies than during your retirement, and the benefits of doing so are countless. Life at a senior living community can introduce you to all sorts of activities and provide you with the freedom to dip your toe into a new hobby or immerse yourself in something you love.
Keep reading to discover the ways a new hobby could enhance your life at a senior living community.
Benefits to Your Physical Health
By engaging in hobbies that involve movement and an increase in heart rate, you can boost your physical health. Research shows active seniors have a lower risk for certain diseases and even live longer. But that’s just scratching the surface. Activities like fitness classes, tennis, swimming and even walking offer a multitude of benefits.
Seniors who exercise regularly have:
- Fewer falls
- Decreased functional limitations
- Decreased risk for heart disease, diabetes and cancer
- Stronger bones and muscles
- Improved sleep patterns
“Seniors at our community participate in exercise classes like chair yoga, advanced balance, and cardio drumming,” says Michele Wasserlauf, executive director at The Terraces at Bonita Springs. “They can join the bocce ball club or gather with friends to play Wii Bowling. Our fitness center, pools, and certified fitness instructors make it easy for residents to stay active.”
Even leisurely hobbies such as knitting or playing an instrument can promote good physical health. One study conducted by psychologists demonstrated that people who reported regular engagement in an activity they enjoyed had lower blood pressure, total cortisol, and healthier waist circumference and body mass index.
Improvements to Brain Function
Adopting a new hobby means you’ll be learning new skills and solving new problems. Finding a pastime that provides both satisfaction and a challenge is the balance that can help keep your mind sharp.
The American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease & Other Dementias® published a study that concluded individuals who spent an hour a day in meaningful leisure activities like reading, making crafts, and doing crossword puzzles reduce their risk of dementia. Furthermore, their results suggest that variety matters. The more activities a senior engages in, the less likely they are to develop dementia symptoms.
At a senior living community, residents have access to an array of activities and can participate in something new almost daily. With a calendar full of classes and events – along with amenities designed to enhance seniors’ lives – you can be as active as you want. Additionally, services like home maintenance, weekly housekeeping and concierge services create more free time to explore your interests.
Promotion of Mental and Social Well-Being
Whether your pastime of choice involves physical activity, focused attention or commitment to creativity, you are supporting your mental health and social well-being by engaging in it.
Older adults with a hobby find that they have:
Reduced Stress Levels
Leisure activity helps bring your focus into the present moment and work through current stresses. Some hobbies, like reading or yoga, can even mimic meditation, releasing tension and increasing endorphins in your body. In fact, when you engage in hobbies you enjoy, you can decrease depression, anxiety and sluggishness.
A Strong Sense of Purpose
Your retirement years are full of potential, but it can be difficult for some to adjust to a post-career lifestyle. Involving yourself in a hobby or a volunteer opportunity gives you meaningful tasks and structure that can bring a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.
Challenging yourself in new ways can increase self-esteem and develop pride and confidence in a previously unexplored area. Even if the end result of your efforts isn’t perfect, the commitment to your pursuit will provide a sense of contentment and joy.
A Vibrant Social Life
Some activities have a built-in social dynamic. For example, joining a group of people in the billiards room or creative arts studio at The Terraces at Bonita Springs gives residents the opportunity to enjoy their hobby while catching up with friends. Not only is this entertaining, but it presents a chance to realize the health benefits of social interaction in older adults.
Even if the hobby you enjoy is a solitary pursuit, it can create a path toward a more robust social life. You can easily find like-minded people – online or in your senior living community – who share your interests. In these friendships, you can collaborate, develop new skills, and deepen your appreciation for your hobby.
How The Terraces at Bonita Springs Provides the Care You Need
The Terraces at Bonita Springs supports the interests and personal development of residents with a variety of activities, amenities and community events. We are a one-of-a-kind Life Plan Community in gorgeous Florida. We offer independent living, assisted living, memory support, skilled nursing and rehabilitation. Come discover the experiences our community has to offer.