Leisure with Longevity: 11 Sports and Hobbies You Can Do in Your Later Years
As you age, you may find that some of the things you’ve always loved to do have become more difficult or physically demanding than they once were. Though this is undoubtedly a challenging part of aging, it’s important to remember that there are also lots of perfectly healthy, engaging and beneficial things you can do to boost your health and mood as you enter your twilight years. Mentally rewarding, physically stimulating and endlessly enjoyable, the following sports and hobbies will keep you busy and entertained as you get older.
It’s All in the Hunt: Uncovering Lost Gems
If you’ve always loved a good, old-fashioned treasure hunt—and let’s be honest, who doesn’t?—then you’ll definitely want to consider a hunting-heavy hobby. These searches never end, which makes them all the more enjoyable.
As far as finding earthly wonders goes, nothing is more enjoyable than hunting for rocks. Buried in local parks, beaches and even your backyard is a treasure trove of fascinating, valuable geodes, from precious gems to fossils. You never know what you might dig up, and that’s the fun of it!
Fancy yourself a foodie? Consider getting into the amazingly rewarding hobby of morel-hunting. Especially popular in the Eastern half of the United States during the spring, this hobby calls for a dedicated search party of the delicious (and expensive) wild morel mushroom.
For a real-life treasure hunt, head to the end of the rainbow with a metal detector or start out on a coin roll hunting adventure. Ideal for those who love history and uncovering the lost and forgotten, coin collecting is an exciting way to learn about the past while preserving something special for the future.
The Joy of Multiples: Starting a Collection
Particularly ideal for the senior who is meticulous, passionate and maybe a little obsessive, starting a collection helps you channel your energy into something that brings you unbridled joy. If you love history, consider collecting coins, stamps or old periodicals. If you’re more into pop culture or music, grow your collection of memorabilia, records or posters. Consider yourself a connoisseur of quirk? Some of our favorite off-the-wall collections include back scratchers, banana stickers, airline barf bags, hot sauces and traffic cones. Seriously, there’s nothing you can’t turn into an impressively cataloged collection with a bit of creativity!
Adventure Awaits: Spending Time Outside
Spending time outside isn’t just a great way to pass the time, it’s also a natural way to boost your health. In fact, fresh air can help strengthen your immune system, lower stress and increase happiness, so it’s well worth your attention! Here are some of the best outdoor activities for older adults:
Those who are 80 and above may find getting around much harder than it once was, but that doesn’t mean they should stop seeking out pretty vistas and calming, natural experiences. Consider hopping aboard a boat for a gentle way to soothe the body and mind.
Walking is considered a low-impact activity that, along with swimming, is one of the best exercises for older adults. Whether it’s an amble through a flat trail in the woods or a hop from booth to booth at an outdoor market, walking will help keep you in good shape.
Like boating, fishing is an excellent option for older adults who want to lap up the fresh air without putting a lot of strain on the joints or muscles. Consider fishing from a boat if mobility is a concern.
Competition Therapy: Playing a Sport
Were you a title-earner, baller or record-breaker in your youth? Even if you weren’t, you probably understand the pure, unbridled joy of dominating the competition at play. There are a few sports that are gentle yet stimulating enough for older adults, including:
Bowling has always been a popular pick for the senior crowd, and for good reason. This endlessly entertaining yet low-impact game requires little standing time but helps build muscles in the arms and legs.
Why is the game of golf so popular among older adults? It has a lot to do with the fact that this is a game that’s fun for people of many ages and physical abilities. Or it may be that, according to a Swedish study, golfers live an average of five years longer. Any reason is a good one, we say!
Beloved by older Italians but enjoyed by all, bocce is a sport that’s particularly welcoming to older adults because it doesn’t require a ton of physical stamina. It does provide some muscle-building benefits and lots of opportunities to socialize, though, so it’s an all-around winner.
Seeing the World: Traveling Through the Twilight Years
If you think you’re too old to travel, you may want to reconsider! There are many wonderful programs that cater to older travelers, from seniors-only tours to fun 65-plus cruises. Whether you want to volunteer, visit family members who live far away, see the world or connect with others who are the same age, jet-setting may be a great way to do it. Traveling is a wonderful way to help reduce stress and lift your spirit, so it may contribute to better overall health as well. And why not spend retirement years snoozing on a beach or tasting global cuisine?
Following Your Heart at Any Age
If you’re looking for a great way to pass the time as you get older, ask yourself a simple question: “What do I enjoy the most?” More than likely, it’s something you can modify a bit to cater to your unique needs or activity level. If it’s something you love, it will contribute to happiness and better health, no matter your age!