The summer is the perfect time to pick up a new hobby, and it’s even better if it’s an outdoor activity; spending time outside allows you to enjoy the fresh air and the health benefits that accompany it, such as an increased immune system, lower feelings of anxiety and improved blood pressure. However, one of the biggest benefits that older people find when trying their hand at something new is that it presents new opportunities for socialising.
This summer, head outdoors and immerse yourself in nature. Whether you’re an avid animal lover who is looking to try birdwatching or are someone who is hoping to exercise more by enjoying a couple of rounds of golf, there’s something for everyone. Discover the perfect summer hobby for retirees in this guide.
Golf is loved by people of all ages; however, as a retiree, it is a great sport to invest your time in. Not only does golf require patience and precision, but also good hand-eye coordination; these skills can all contribute towards better cognitive health, improving your mental agility, something which is important as you age.
David from the blog UK Golf Guy believes that golf is a great option for people who are getting older: “Not only do you keep physically fit but it’s also a really good way to meet other people and keep your social life active. So the benefits are both physical and mental.
“One of the great things about golf is that with the handicap system two players of vastly different skill levels can play against each other and either can win!”
According to Golf Glam, golf can also increase your life expectancy. Researchers in Sweden found that because the sport can lower your cholesterol, improve your body composition and help lower your stress levels, those who participate in the sport can live up to five years longer.
When looking for a sporty hobby, it is important that it is low impact to help you avoid injury; therefore, golf is a great option. During a traditional, 18-hole game, a golfer can tone their legs, arms and waist while increasing their stamina and overall fitness levels.
So, if you’re considering picking up golf as a last-minute summer hobby, what steps should you look to follow? David from UK Golf Guy recommends that: “If you’ve never played before it’s worth having a few lessons to begin with and then try to spend as much time as you can getting out and playing. It will take a little while to get some consistency, but practice will make a big difference.
“I would recommend speaking to a golf professional to recommend the right clubs for you. You won’t have to spend a bomb and don’t need a full set to begin with, but getting the right gear will make a huge difference. There are club heads specially designed for beginners and shafts that help you hit it further so don’t be tempted to just pick up any old set, take some advice from an expert!
“If you think that 18 holes may a bit much for you (or you don’t have the time) then find a course where you return to the clubhouse after 9 holes. And also make sure you play the set of tees that are right for you. Playing a forward set of tees not only makes the round go faster but it is normally more fun too!”
Yoga is for everyone”, shares Ashley from Kalimukti Studios. “It’s about focusing on a combination of the breath and the movement of the body to invite clarity to the mind - a state of relaxation.”
The holistic practice of yoga focuses on mindfulness, meditation and strength whilst improving your flexibility and balance. Perfect for people of any age, your practice can be adapted to take your ailments into consideration. For example, if you need to use a stairlift around your home or find that you experience bouts of joint pain, each asana can be selected to prevent any further damage.
Ashley believes that “the best part about yoga is the sense of well-being it brings. It comes in all different shapes and forms to suit everyone and encourage wellness for the mind and body.”
In addition to the many mental benefits that people find with yoga, such as experiencing less anxiety and finding it easier to relax, it is also known to regulate your sleep cycle. This is beneficial for those who may find it harder to drift off at night.
As with any physical activity, it is best to take it slow. “Yoga can be done from a chair, encouraging the movement of the body, synchronised with deep belly breaths”, Ashley informs. This allows you to gauge where you are with your flexibility and ability to complete each movement. Joining a class is a great way to socialise whilst practising and having a teacher present will be able to provide you with peace of mind that you’re not doing something wrong.
Age need not be a barrier to getting out into a garden and experiencing the many health and wellbeing benefits of gardening”, shares Mark from Thrive. “In fact, it’s a good form of exercise that can help keep older people mobile and fit. There are psychological benefits to spending time in a garden in terms of relieving stress and anxiety, as well as the sense of fulfilment that comes from growing your own. Gardening can also be a social activity helping to reduce feelings of isolation and exclusion. And there are many ways we can adapt to keep gardening as we get older, for example using raised beds or specialist tools.”
Gardening is truly one of the best summer activities for older people to try. Not only do you get to reap the benefits of the fresh air, but you can transform your outdoor space into something fantastic. You don’t need to have endless flower beds or an overgrowing allotment to enjoy this hobby. In fact, for beginners, just a couple of window boxes can help you to develop your green fingers!
When asked what his favourite thing about gardening was, Mark shared that: “Gardening is a tremendous way to easily connect with nature and leave the stresses and strains of modern life behind. There’s plenty of good evidence that shows time in nature is so beneficial for our mental health and this combined with the physical health benefits, makes it very appealing. It’s also a very flexible activity which can be done on a large or small scale, which means it is accessible to most people.”
There are lots of tools and accessories on the market that will help make gardening easier for you. Kneeling pads make the ground softer when weeding whereas thick gloves can help prevent splinters and blisters for those with thinner skin.
For beginners, Mark recommends: “If you have never tried gardening before, start with a simple project. For example, sow speedy veg seeds, such as salad leaves, in a tray of multi-purpose compost and water them. Put the tray on a warm, well-lit spot, keeping the compost moist, and in about three weeks you’ll be seeing plants emerge.
“If you don’t have a garden, join a community gardening project where you can work alongside and learn from others.”
If you’re looking for a way to get outside this summer, why not consider birdwatching? This hobby is perfect for those who have low mobility or even if you’re simply looking for a relaxing way to pass the time. There are lots of different ways in which you can birdwatch: with binoculars, on a live stream, by head to a nature reserve to seek them out – the list goes on!
Patience is key with birdwatching; however, those who pick up this hobby find it relaxing and interesting. Throughout the year, the birds that you see will vary, with some seasons experiencing more activity than others. Keeping a diary of this is the easiest way to spot any patterns, or you can even participate in things such as the Big Garden Birdwatch organised by the RSPB each year.
This news article is from Companion Stairlifts. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.