Some say that "growing old is no fun," but there's no need to subscribe to that pessimistic theory. Retirement is no longer sitting in a rocking chair watching others enjoy life. There are plenty of ways to still have fun as seniors.
1. Take a Walk
While jogging or Zumba might not look so good anymore, taking a walk is one of the best ways to keep healthy. Even a stroll around the block or up the hallway and back can add to a senior's strength, balance, heart and lung function and eyesight. During a walk, one can look around for things of interest: nesting birds, new housepaint colors, children at play or new models of cars.
Many seniors are frustrated that their family members don't have time to really visit anymore. A solution is to start some creative writing. Even if one thinks one's life was routine or ordinary, everyone has real stories, heartbreaks, obstacles and successes to pass along to others. An older adult can jot down notes about their time in a war or their reactions to a historical event. Maybe share some gardening secrets or memories of a teaching career. The budding writer might have some hilarious tales to tell. If hand-writing is hard, enlist a younger relative to "take dictation" for an hour or so at a time or use a small recording device. The process of writing can actually prevent age-related brain shrinkage!
3. Play a Game
Whether one plays alone—like solitaire or a jigsaw puzzle—or in a group (think Pinochle or Spoons), the brain activity provided by counting, guessing, figuring and laughing is a tremendous advantage to health. A weekly "game night" can also provide something to look forward to.
4. Take the Stage
Many residential or worship centers provide activities for seniors to act, sing, dance or put on shows. Cardiovascular health, serotonin levels, balance and memory can all be helped by getting creative in these active ways.
5. Take the Plunge
Swimming can be a safe and healthy way for seniors to spend time. It's easy on the joints and can help fight osteoporosis, while being a calming way to lower blood pressure and increase strength. A class at a local gym or community pool might be geared especially to seniors.
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