02 Apr 8 Active Senior Hobbies To Try Out in Philadelphia
Learning doesn’t end just because of advanced age. Consider one of these activities as a new interest.
Adults dream about retirement throughout their life. When it arrives, they may find themselves with much more spare time than they imagined. Seniors should be getting at least 150 minutes of moderately intense aerobic activity, plus take part in muscle-strengthening activities on at least two days a week, if possible.
By engaging in healthy and active hobbies, seniors can remain engaged and stimulated both mentally and physically. This mental stimulation can aid in keeping seniors sharp and captivated while fortifying cognitive abilities and providing purpose.
Elders can consider these 8 active senior hobbies for happy and healthy engagement of the mind and body.
Getting older doesn’t need to prevent a senior from getting outside and taking in fresh air. Gardening can be beneficial for elders in different ways. It can promote physical activity, it gets elders outside, and seniors can take advantage of eating what they grow. Gardening also offers something for seniors to take care of. Therefore, they can help elders feel a sense of purpose.
Birdwatching is an activity that doesn’t need to be demanding. One can look out the window to spot neighborhood birds, after all. The activity stems from navigating to the places that birds nest, gather, and eat.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area bird watchers that want to see birds in their natural habitat have plenty of choices. Several popular birdwatching locations in and around Philadelphia and the greater Delaware Valley include:
- Valley Forge National Historical Park
- Ridley Creek State Park/Tyler Arboretum
- Tyler State Park
- Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association
- John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge
For those with joint pain that makes hiking or walking challenging, then you could try cycling. Cycling puts much less pressure on the joints. Therefore, it’s a great way to get in some exercise without the same chance of injury or pain.
If you are comfortable with cycling on the road, you can explore many areas of Philadelphia and surrounding areas. Worried about hills and traffic that might interfere with your enjoyment? Begin by training on a stationary bicycle. It might not be as scenic as traveling the roads, but you’ll get the exercise you need to keep you active and healthy. After a while, you can gain the confidence to attempt cycling on local roads.
Learn a musical instrument
Learning a musical instrument offers great cognitive benefits to elders. Folks that learn how to play an instrument experience:
- Improvements in happiness
- Increased blood flow to the brain.
- Better memory and enhanced reading skills.
- Reduced Levels of stress and depression.
A surprising benefit of playing a musical instrument is that it can also aid the brain in recovery from a stroke. Playing the instrument itself improves motor control of the hands and possibly additional body parts, depending on the instrument played.
Arts and crafts
Virtually all forms of arts and crafts are great and healthy hobbies for seniors. Options include knitting, scrapbooking, and painting, among others. Arts and craft activities are an excellent way for an older adult to spend their leisure time. Best of all, these activities can be great to do by oneself, or with the company and social companionship of others.
Serve or volunteer for others
Many community programs and nonprofits run on the help of elder volunteers that donate their time to giving back. Senior volunteers serve in almost any capacity, like at schools, churches, and other local nonprofits. By volunteering to help others, it provides activity, social connections, and just makes a senior feel good. It of course helps countless organizations provide for crucial needs as well.
Serving friends and family may not be a hobby, per se. However, helping to provide childcare, rides, meals, or other offerings are surely time spent well and appreciated by recipients. Whether it be by volunteering at an organization or helping with the grandkids, giving your time to serve others is a great way to give back.
One activity that is particularly great for elders is swimming. For those that want to minimize joint stress or other age-related concerns, water exercises provide elders a great way to stay in shape while being low impact.
You can find water aerobics classes at many local gyms and fitness centers. The best part is that they are usually geared towards seniors. Generally, they include dancing, water walking, and various other aerobic exercises similar to those on dry ground. Consider Tai Chi or chair yoga for other low impact exercises.
Pennsylvania has various hiking trails suitable for people of all ages and abilities. Consider easy or moderate trails that limit steep inclines or other fall risks. When hiking, enjoy great views and the outdoors while getting exercise. Best of all, with the variety of Philadelphia trails and outdoor adventures, you can experience native plants, animals, waterfalls, and rivers.
Some trails that you should hike include:
Find or start a group of elder hikers to facilitate regular hikes while socializing to meet seniors with shared interests.
To summarize, these 8 hobbies are great activities and suitable for seniors at different levels and capacities. Consider these other activity ideas for elders as well. Check out all of our insights and consider Chosen Family Home Care for your at-home senior care needs for you or a loved one.