Most people think of senior citizens as people 65 and older because they qualify for Medicare and Social Security benefits. But nowadays a senior citizen can be anyone over 50 or retired. Even restaurants are advertising senior menus starting at 55. Movie theaters also offer a senior citizen discount at this age. People picture senior citizens as sitting in a retirement community in rocking chairs and watching television.
Seniors are breaking out of the stereotypical mode of activity once associated with the term senior citizen. Once known for playing chess and putting puzzles together, seniors are now participating in activities that benefit their health by keeping them active.
There are many benefits to staying active as you become a senior citizen. These include the delay and prevention of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and arthritis. Being active also promotes brain fitness and helps one cope with stress and anxiety, which can take a toll on a person’s health.
Other benefits include a feeling of belonging, social companionship, making friendships with people who have the same interests and these new friends can provide emotional support and comfort in a time of need.
Hobbies for seniors that are becoming more popular include: golfing, even if only 9 holes; pickle ball which uses a badminton court, plastic ball and paddle but follows the same rules of tennis; yoga and pilates which are great for stretching and increasing flexibility; walking whether outside or in a mall; gardening which helps with gripping and lifting; swimming to improve joint and bone health; volunteering which gets them out and among other people and gives them a sense of accomplishment; woodworking or wood carving which encourages eye and hand coordination; cooking with the end product being shared with others; playing cards which encourages socialization; traveling which encourages trying new things and stepping out of their comfort zone.
Hobbies as activities for senior citizens is a way for their mind and body to stay connected, give them a sense of belonging, giving them something to look forward to each day and encouraging them to live life to the fullest.