seniors bird watching

10 Active Hobbies for Retirees

It is recommended that seniors get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity and participate in muscle-strengthening activities on at least two days per week.

You don’t necessarily have to start running long distances or lifting weights to get positive results from these recommendations, though. Instead, you can work towards meeting your exercise goals by enjoying any of these 10 active hobbies for retirees. They’ll keep you interested in what you’re doing while making sure you get the activity needed to stay healthy.

Chair Yoga

Chair yoga is a gentle form of yoga that most seniors can do without problems. Yoga can improve your strength and flexibility. If this interests you, then you should learn positions like:

  • Chair extended side angle pose
  • Chair forward bend
  • Chair raised hands pose
  • Chair cat-cow stretch
  • Chair pigeon
  • Chair warrior I

If you’ve done yoga before, then these poses will sound family to you. If you haven’t, then you can find plenty of lessons online that will teach you how to get the most from your chair yoga exercises.

Gardening

Gardening is considered a form of moderate cardiovascular exercise. Spending just 30 to 45 minutes can help you burn between 150 and 300 calories. Once you start raking, digging, and weeding, you’ll understand why gardening counts as exercise.

Birdwatching

Birdwatching doesn’t demand much activity. You could look out of a window to spot neighborhood birds, after all. The activity comes from walking to the places that birds nest and eat.

Massachusetts has plenty of great locations for birding. Popular locations include:

Once you make birding a hobby, you can enjoy visiting these places to see native birds. It will get you out of the house and get you walking to bird blinds.

Hiking

Massachusetts has dozens of hiking trails that are appropriate for people of all abilities. Look for easy and moderate trails without steep inclines that could cause falls. While hiking, you get to enjoy views of nature while you get some exercise. Depending on the trails you choose, you can gaze upon waterfalls, native animals, and plants.

Some trails that you should hike include:

Form a hiking group that will keep you interested in visiting new spaces and helps you meet like-minded seniors.

Cycling

If you have joint pain that prevents you from hiking or walking more than a mile, then you should try cycling. Cycling doesn’t put nearly as much pressure on your joints, so you can get exercise without feeling pain afterward.

If you feel comfortable cycling on the road, you can explore many areas of Massachusetts and surrounding states. If you worry that traffic and hills will interfere with your enjoyment, then you can start training on a stationary bike. It’s not as scenic as traveling the roads, but you’ll get the exercise you need to stay healthy. Eventually, you may gain enough confidence to try cycling on local roads.

Swimming

Swimming puts even less stress on your joints than cycling. Swimming comes with several benefits that can improve the health of seniors. It’s a cardiovascular exercise, so it can improve your heart strength and help you maintain a healthy weight.

One study shows that swimming is especially helpful for women, who face higher risks from osteoporosis. A group of women that swam for one hour three times a week found that the exercise lessens bone loss by 1 to 2% per year.

Painting

An active hobby doesn’t have to involve cardiovascular exercise. Any activity is better than spending too much time in a chair or lying in bed.

Painting, for instance, encourages seniors to spend more time on their feet. Painting can also help strengthen cognitive abilities to improve memory, perception and hand strength.

Of course, seniors who want to paint specific landscapes can add some exercise to their hobby by walking or hiking to their destinations.

Learning a Musical Instrument

Learning a musical instrument has exceptional cognitive benefits for seniors. People who learn to play instruments experience:

  • Increased blood flow to the brain.
  • Improved happiness.
  • Stronger memory and reading skills.
  • Lower levels of stress and depression.

Playing a musical instrument can also help the brain recover from a stroke. The physical act of playing the instrument improves motor control in the hands and other parts of the body, depending on the instrument.

Traveling

Whether you’re taking a leisurely stroll through a new city or you’re rushing through the airport to catch a plane, traveling forces you to keep your body and mind active. Try taking walks or visiting a museum in new places to discover the beauty and cultures of other cities.

Walking Meditation

Walking gives you a low-impact way to get your heart pumping, burn calories, and strengthen muscles. Walking meditation combines those advantages with the benefits of mindfulness meditation.

Researchers find that mindfulness meditation can improve memory and sleep. It treats depression as well as antidepressant prescriptions. It can even reduce pain.

Contact Us

Active hobbies can make life more enjoyable for anyone, but they have an especially strong effect on seniors. Find a hobby that appeals to you and see how it changes your life. Contact us today to find out what your options are!

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