Hobbies are fun activities and interests that people can enjoy. No matter your age, you are never too old to start or continue one. There is a large variety of hobbies, from peaceful activities like reading and stamp collecting, to dynamic ones like pickleball and dancing. No matter who you are, there is a hobby out there for you.
But did you know that hobbies provide several benefits to seniors? It’s true! There are physical, mental, and even social benefits of having a hobby. It doesn’t matter what the hobby is, either; while each may provide different levels of benefits, they can all improve someone’s quality of life.
One of the greatest benefits that comes from hobbies is how it engages the brain. Research and studies have shown that regularly participating in hobbies creates neural connections in your brain, leading to a decrease in the risk of dementia, better stress management, and improved confidence and self esteem. Some hobbies allow you to set up a schedule or routine, which can reduce stress and anxiety. Having goals to work towards in your hobby can give you a sense of accomplishment and will improve your mood and outlook on life.
Many hobbies come with physical health benefits as well. Active hobbies, like tennis or zumba, encourage people to move around, increasing blood circulation and decreasing blood pressure. Art and crafting hobbies can help hand-eye coordination. Even spending time outdoors while doing an activity provides health benefits.
There are social benefits to hobbies, whether it’s a solo or group activity. No matter your interest, there is a community that has the same passion. You can connect with others either through in person outings or online meet ups. You can share hobbies with family and friends, even across generations. And even if you don’t share a hobby, people love learning about each other’s hobbies. They make for great conversation topics.
Whether a resident is a member of our Independent Living community or receiving rehabilitation or memory care, there are hobbies that can suit both their interests and their level of ability. Kingsway’s location in Schenectady and proximity to the rest of the Capital Region affords even more opportunities for exploring hobbies, from historical landmarks and museums to theater shows and the great outdoors.
Want to start a hobby?
There are all sorts of hobbies out there!
For seniors, many experts encourage revisiting hobbies you enjoyed in the past. Not only will it bring up good memories, but your brain will strengthen older neural networks that you developed in the past.
There are benefits from starting fresh with a new hobby, too. Learning new things helps the brain stay active.
Don’t know where to start? Here are some ideas:
- Sewing, knitting, or crocheting
- Bird watching
- Cooking or baking
- Flower arranging or flower pressing
- Drawing or painting
- Writing pen pal letters
- Singing or playing an instrument
- Watch lectures and documentaries
This is only a small list of potential hobbies!
At Kingsway, we’re a community that is eager to help you learn and explore. We host events throughout the year, including ones on how to start hobbies like journaling and wreath making. We strive to provide activities that are appropriate across our continuum of care and involve our residents’ hobbies and interests. Our staff and residents are also excited to share our hobbies with you!