Have Fun and Stay Sharp by Learning Something New in Retirement

    Retirement is a time most seniors plan for and look forward to. It’s a time when you can take a breather and do the things you really want to do. But for some retirees, there’s a hole to fill where your role in the workforce or as a parent used to be. This is the ideal time to learn a new skill and discover a new interest. The internet gives you the ability to do this entirely online, or get out and learn something new with a friend.

     Get creative with arts

    • Painting is a fantastic activity for older adults because it gives you a creative outlet while also strengthening hand-to-eye coordination, which is a brain booster too. You also have the joy of creating something new that you can display in your home or share with friends. Check with your local community college or art center for lessons, or choose one of many online options.
    • Scrapbooking is another great artistic activity that has the bonus benefit of helping you you go through old boxes of pictures and memorabilia to make the most of them. It’s all about preserving memories and adding your own artistic touch.
    • Learn to play a musical instrument. Is there a musical instrument you have always loved but never had the time to learn how to play? It’s not too late, and the internet makes music lessons easier than ever with online courses. For a great starter instrument, check out the best online guitar lessons to find a great way of jumping right in with music instruction. Just like painting, playing an instrument like guitar is great for hand-to-eye coordination, and music is also an amazing brain booster that can even improve memory.

     Get moving with physical activity

    • Tai chi is an exercise you can easily do from home with how-to videos specifically for older adults. This exercise promotes mind-body awareness, is very gentle, and has cardiovascular benefits as well as improved balance, which is important for preventing falls as you get older.
    • Chair yoga or any gentle yoga practice is another activity that promotes a mind-body connection, and it can ease stress and alleviate pain and stiff joints. For a social experience, look for gentle yoga classes where you live, or practice from home with Sixty and Me’s yoga designed for older adults.
    • Swimming is one of the best full body workouts you can get, and because it is not weight bearing, it’s also one of the easiest exercises on your body. Water aerobics is a fun way to get a cardiovascular workout and meet other people at the same time.
    • Dancing is another activity that delivers both mental and physical benefits. According to Aging Care, dancing can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. And on top of the mental health benefits, dancing builds strength, balance, and gives you a great cardiovascular workout.

     Boost your brain with games

    • It’s never too late to take up (or relearn) classic board games like Chess, Scrabble, and Monopoly. All of these games require strategy and draw from your memory so they give your brain an incredible workout, which improves memory and can help with dementia.
    • Puzzles like crosswords and Sudoku have similar benefits to your brain, and completing them also gives you a feeling of accomplishment and a boost to your self-confidence. Check your local paper for a daily puzzle, or choose from a variety of puzzle apps for smart phones and tablets.
    • The internet is full of brain games specifically designed for aging adults to strengthen memory. Start with the brain assessment from AARP Staying Sharp, which gives personalized recommendations, and has a variety of fun brain games to play.

    Just because you haven’t taken up that hobby or art form that you’ve always dreamed of doesn’t mean you can’t still do it. Whatever you choose, try something you’re passionate about and you will find a new joy and fulfillment in life.

     Article written by Karen Weeks with Elder Wellness

    Photo credit: Unsplash

    Harmony is founded with a single focus in mind: providing compassionate home care and home healthcare to the residents of Southwestern Pennsylvania.



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