Being social and staying active is important at any point during one’s life. As children, being active gives us the chance to explore the world around us, meet new friends, and burn off those cookies we love to eat. As adults, an active lifestyle enables us to stay healthy and pursue interests.
For seniors, the importance of staying active is combination of all the benefits we gained throughout our lives. But, even more so, for those of us in our later years is the need to stay mentally sharp. Being active is great, but what activities are best for seniors? Whether living at one’s home or in an assisted living community, such as A Hand to Hold, the options are many.
Take a Stroll
Being active doesn’t necessarily mean training for a marathon or lifting heavy weights at the gym. One of the easiest and most effective ways to stay active is to simply take a stroll with others. Getting outside and walking around your neighborhood or a nearby park is a relaxing way to get the blood flowing. There’s no need to speed walk; take your time and enjoy the scenery around you and the conversation between you and your friends. The walking, talking, and visual stimulation will do wonders for your mind and body.
Go to a Gym
Strength training also provides meaningful benefits for elderly persons. For starters, getting out and going to a gym will alleviate boredom and depression. Begin by adding light weights (no need to set any world records!) to the mix, and your body will become stronger while your mind will becomes sharper. Stick with simple lifting exercises that utilize either dumbbells or kettle balls for the most benefits. In addition, yoga, light aerobics, and stretching—classes for which are available at most gyms—will enhance any workout routine and provide another beneficial social outlet to one’s day.
Continue Your Education
Go back to school. Taking a credit or non-credit class at a local community college or any other institute with vocational classes is a great way to meet people and keep your mind engaged in learning and continued growth. With classes for almost any subject or activity, the hardest part is deciding which class or classes to take!
Get Away from It All
Taking a vacation is a great way to not only get out and see the world but, if one takes advantage of group vacations for seniors, it’s also a wonderful way to spend more time with friends and meet new acquaintances. Cruises are especially popular with seniors because of the many activities and dining options included in the price. New social interactions and a chance to see new places? Full steam ahead!
Engage in a Hobby
Taking up a hobby or finding new hobbies is another great way for seniors to be social. Many community centers offer free arts and crafts classes, as well as other activities, such as dancing and singing. Chances are that if you enjoy doing it, there is a class for you.
Try Some Games or Sports
Start playing games! Whether your interest is with cards, boards, a ball, or even electronics, joining a gaming group can be a great way to socialize and stay active. Not only is game playing fun for the challenging aspect, it is also a great way to spend time with others, sharing stories, laughs, and memories. Golf is a very popular activity among seniors, and it combines social interaction with physical activity. In addition, it’s a low-impact sport that can be enjoyed by people at almost any age. Making games a regular part of your routine will help you stay healthy, both physically and mentally.
Staying active is an important part of anyone’s life. Seniors, especially, need to maintain a healthy balance of activities that benefit both the body and the mind. With an almost unlimited number of activities for any skill level to choose from, your social calendar should be busy, but full of fun and relaxation! Caregivers, such as A Hand to Hold, have all the information you need to start playing.