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6 ways to thrive as you age with fun activities for seniors

How to stay happy and healthy in your golden years

The vast majority of articles, research and conversations about aging all focus on the difficulties that come with maturing. Most people fail to discuss the many positive opportunities that growing older can bring to those in their golden years.

On top of the lack of content about the joy of aging, many people who retire have spent the majority of their lives working, caring for their kids, and taking care of aging parents, so they often simply forget just how to have fun and relax. If you find yourself at this crossroads, don’t worry because we’re here to help!

As part of our quest to highlight the positives of aging, we’re sharing 6 ways to thrive in your golden years with fun activities for seniors. Continue reading to spark ideas for what sounds most fun to you and then go out there and do it!

#1: Get moving.

As you grow into what many call the “third act” of life, it’s important to find a way to incorporate exercise — or some form of intentional movement — into your daily routine. 

If you are dealing with physical limitations, you don’t need to overexert yourself to reap the benefits of physical activity. In fact, older adults can obtain significant health benefits from exercise with a moderate amount of physical activity.

Physical activity for seniors has proven to help: 

  • Reduce the risk of falling and fracturing bones
  • Maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints
  • Reduce blood pressure in those with hypertension
  • Control joint swelling and pain associated with arthritis
  • Reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. [1]

The length and difficulty level of the exercise you choose should all depend on your unique needs and interests. Consider trying one of these popular physical activities for older adults on your own or with a group to find which options are most fun and effective for you:

  • Walking
  • Gardening or yard work
  • Yoga or chair yoga
  • Tai chi
  • Water aerobics
  • Golf
  • Tennis 
  • Bowling.

Learn more:

8 easy in-home exercises for seniors (no equipment needed!)

#2: Make life musical.

Kids aren’t the only ones who should try learning to play a musical instrument; older adults should also consider making their lives more musical! What many people don’t realize is that older brains still have considerable plasticity meaning seniors can still learn new things like playing an instrument. [2]

In addition to simply being one of many fun activities for seniors to explore, there are long-term mental and physical health benefits to be gained from playing an instrument like limiting cognitive decline. [3] 

There are so many instruments available to learn how to play — from the piano and guitar to the flute or the saxophone — so pick whatever seems the most exciting to you! If you want structure, try finding a teacher to take lessons from or just practice on your own, it’s all about having fun!

#3: Be the host(ess) with the most(est). 

Socializing with friends and family is one of the best ways to infuse more fun into your life. Most people are at their happiest when they’re spending time with those they love, and hosting special events may be a great way for you to do just that!

Hosting parties or other social gatherings can be a fun activity if you enjoy planning and all of the tasks that go along with it. Try planning a holiday themed event like a secret santa or St. Patrick’s Day celebration or plan a themed party at any time of the year. People love to have a reason to celebrate and be with one another!

#4: Tap into your inner Mother Nature.

Spending time in nature is a great activity for seniors to enjoy both on their own and with others. Sunny, breezy weather can easily lift your spirits when you’re feeling low, and studies have shown that just 10-15 minutes of vitamin D per week can generate a large majority of the amount of the vitamin we need. [4]

Many people feel more grounded and connected to the world when they’re out in nature—a great benefit for anyone looking to improve their mood. 

Try spending more time in the great outdoors and get some fresh air by:

  • Gardening
  • Bird-watching
  • Walking or hiking
  • Picnicking
  • Kite flying
  • Taking photos of nature.

#5: Create your own works of art.

Tapping into your inner artist as you age is a great way to express your creativity, keep your mind sharp, and feel more relaxed. If you worked a more structured job when you were younger, exploring arts and crafts can be a great way to discover your untapped creativity. 

Explore one of the many artistic options you have available to try such as:

  • Painting
  • Sketching or drawing
  • Ceramics 
  • Knitting 
  • Embroidery 
  • Jewelry making.

Learn more:

What are the benefits of art therapy for dementia care?

#6: Explore the great unknown.

With retirement often comes more free time than you ever had before. As we age, many people end up spending more and more of this newfound free time at home, but you don’t have to! Instead, go explore the world outside your doors—either nearby or far away.

Try finding fun outings in your town or city or take a vacation to a destination you’ve always wanted to visit in the U.S. or even abroad. Consider going with your children, grandchildren or a group of fellow seniors seeking adventure. 

Aging doesn’t have to be a bore!

Now that you’ve explored our list of fun activities for seniors, pick an activity to start with! Start with something small like taking a walk or sketching in a notebook or if you’re feeling bold, plan a vacation to that destination you’ve always wanted to visit. At the end of the day, do whatever makes you happiest as you age because it’s also what will keep you the healthiest. 

Looking for someone to support you in finding your fun in aging?

At Flourish in Place, our caregivers can provide more than the traditional home care services of meal preparation and personal care. We also offer companionship and support services for seniors who need some extra help while seeking to continue to flourish with dignity as they age in the comfort and safety of their own homes. 

To learn more, please request your Free Consultation today.

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Sources:

1: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Physical Activity and Health – Older Adults: A Report of the Surgeon General

2: National Center for Biotechnology Information | The aging mind: neuroplasticity in response to cognitive training

3: National Library of Medicine | The relation between instrumental musical activity and cognitive aging

4: Harvard Health Publishing | Time for more vitamin D

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