Healthy aging: some of us are fortunate to reach a healthy “elderly” age and spend many happy years with family, friends and yes, work if you wish, and obtaining great enjoyment out of Life. Here are three areas we can all focus on in our lives to be happier, healthier and enjoy life more . . . pick and choose what you like to do, and always include what you love to do. For me I have been a vegetable gardener, a swimmer and an avid reader – all my life since childhood and they still give me great pleasure and satisfaction. I admit that physical limitations require assistance with some “heavy duty” lifting, etc. when gardening, Here are some thoughts to help you pick and choose . . . and there are many more we can all think of:
#1. Happy Hobbies – for healthy aging – check out this list!
This includes a wide range of topics from reading, learning to gardening and board games like chess. How about writing down your memoirs or stories of interest from your life. This was a memorable fun activity with our Mum “Questions for My Mum” For example, my mum and her sister’s exercise in the 1920’s was playing cricket, horse riding, and dancing; and being “farm girls” they were used to working such as milking the cow and feeding the chickens before school. Substitute pastimes you love to do such as:
- Camping, hiking and biking or motorcycling and spend time in the outdoors
- Go ….. fishing in a boat, from a pier or the beach
- Learn a new sport – like golf
- Travel where you live. So many places to see and enjoy close to where we live
- Become a history expert where you live
- Take up photography such as wildlife of birds or oceans or fabulous scenery
- Interested in Art? How about taking up painting and bring out the Picasso in you. Of course this involves visiting all the Art Galleries you can . . .
- Board games are always fun such as Scrabble and Chess and many more. Our grandkids love Monopoly. These are all excellent if you are not very mobile
- There is always Sudoku – a skill testing past time that may improve your memory.
- Jigsaw puzzles are another
- Love to read and write. You now have time to write “your” novel and check out the local libraries
- Take some cooking or baking lessons eg. How to Cook Mexican Food, etc or learn to make your favourite cheesecake
- Last but definitely not least. Because it is something I have loved all my life – if you are able – start a garden – vegetable or flower – big or small – or in containers. See “An amazing First Year Veggie Garden”
#2 Healthy Exercise = healthy living
What is your choice? I know people who marathon run or cycle, off road motorcycle, play table tennis and of course swim regularly. All forms of great exercise. Of course, walking is always an easy option for those who are mobile.
- What fun. Go 5 Pin Bowling with the grandkids – another of my regular activities as a “teen”
- Take up swimming at your local public pool. Your local recreation centre each year has a wide range of activities for young and old. Check it out. “Swim for Your Life”
- Take up a course in yoga (chair yoga?), a new craft, learn to make jewellery or pottery
- I have recently bought a Rebounder for use at home. It is very easy to use and something you might be interested in. I had fun with this article and hope you do too “Rebounding into Senior Years” Lots of health benefits of a mini-trampoline (8/7/2022)
#3 Volunteer or become a Student?
- Take an online course or learn to speak a new language
- Learn to play a musical instrument or to dance
- Join a choir
- Volunteer at a school, hospital or care centre
- Volunteer for a local community organization such as a Food Bank, Counting birds & butterflies or join a symphony
- Learn something new especially if you like carpentry … ie. “how to build a bird house” or ?
This is most definitely not an exhaustive list of healthy aging activites but there are at least 35 suggestions. Hope it has encouraged you to thinking about adding a few “new” activities to try yourself. Be as active as you are able and keep your brain busy as well. Try to avoid stress although if you are going through a family crisis or medical treatment that can be an added challenge. Keep active with healthy interests and try and be positive and spend time with similar people. Much of this may be stating the obvious but hope you are encouraged.
Always keep in touch with family and friends and enjoy whatever you choose to do.
All the best ~ Liz
We cannot change the inevitable.
The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have,
and that is our attitude.
I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.
And so it is with you … we are in charge of our Attitudes.”
~ Charles Swindoll
LINKS AND REFERENCES:
- “How the Aging Brain Affects Thinking” US Nat’l Inst. on Aging (August 2022)
- “Dietary Supplements for older Adults” eg: Vitamins D & B12
** Check with your family doctor if you are taking supplements or prescription drugs (or Over The Counter medication) when starting a new activity or hobby
Caramel and Parsley articles easy “healthy aging” activities to learn :
- “How to Sew a Cotton Gift Quilt” and
- “How to Make Non-toxic Beeswax Candles”
- “Heart Disease & Metabolic Syndrome…” Dr Aseem Malhotra, Cardiologist, UK (2021)