Having Retirement hobbies promotes health and happiness. Now you can explore things that you never had time for during your working years. . . a whole new adventure.
Many retirees find that a new hobby leads them to develop new skills ….and a network of new friends. This is a real help if your job was the mainstay of your friendships. So what will it be: model airplanes? fly fishing? Lego? Knitting?
The question for many is, “where to begin? How can I decide what might be good Retirement hobbies for me?”
In 2004 researchers in Greece found that whether you are right handed or left handed can influence your preferences for hobbies.They said that right-handed individuals tend to prefer doing sports while those who are left-handed preferred reading books, collecting, or the cinema/theater. Ambidextrous persons were among those who preferred arts, like playing music, drawing, or handicraft. ( Perceptual Motor Skills June, 2004.
Still, one of the things about becoming an Ageless Elder is the ability to go against the norm. Many retirees have taken new directions and chosen new Retirement hobbies.
Here are some suggestions:
- A Hobby that involves rhythmic physical activity should be at the top of your list. There is walking (including hiking, Nordic walking and power walking. There is hiking and mountain climbing and cycling (mountain biking, on road bicycling or using recumbent trikes – yes tricycles are great for those afraid of falling)
- Add to this list swimming, jogging, dancing ( ball room, tap or any of the hundreds of national or folk dances), skiing, ice or roller skating, rowing, sculling….the list goes on and on.
- One hour a day spent on such an active hobby, will make you Grow Younger by Next Year
- Many retirees take up Gardening (creating an organic landscape, raised bed vegetables or specializing in a particular flower such as roses or day lilies).
- Kayaking is one of the fastest growing sports for the over 50 set. No, not ‘whitewater’ but the kind done of rivers, streams or even ocean kayaking.
- Archery, horseback riding – Yes, many a retiree has fulfilled a life long wish to ride! And of course there is fly fishing for men and women.
Why have such a physical Activity as one of your Retirement hobbies?
Now you can learn a lot about any of these hobbies through books or by talking with sales people who engage in the hobby too. For others you may need a class or a season of classes eg. horseback riding. But think about it. Take some time to day dream. Imagine yourself riding a horse or growing your prize rose.
Use the phone book to find some places that cater to hobbyist. Visit some shops. Talk. Ask questions. Most hobbies love to talk about their craft. Take a class or do a weekend vacation for beginners. It is your life now. Have some fun exploring your options.
- Other areas for Retirement hobbies are ‘traditional hobbies’ like Lionel trains, leggo, tinker toys, model airplanes, cars and ships….Both men and women have found real joy building, puttering and playing with these. Maybe there was not enough time or money to indulge when you were growing up but now you can have the time of your life. And because you are an adult, you will be able to bring skills and understanding to building, making, running things that no child can posses.
- Handcrafts. In the last 10 years both men and women are turning to handcrafts. Maybe it is an antidote to our electronic world but wood carving, knitting, embroidering, weaving, rub hooking and braiding, beading, refinishing, clay sculpting, tiling – are all enjoying revivals.People with mild arthritis have said that knitting and clay sculpting keep their hands supple. There is something very calming about knitting – same with crocheting. And you can try any one of these Retirement hobbies without spending a fortune.Take a few trips to the stores that sell the supplies for such crafts and handwork. Get in conversation with hobbyists. Ask the sales person for ‘something for a beginner’ and inquire about local classes. The community of hand crafting tends to be peopled by happy, helpful folks. This hobby may not only take up your interest but it can bring you new friends too.
- The arts are another hobby area the retirees really enjoy. Music, sculpture, clay work, painting, drawing,dancing, writing poetry and stories….. The list goes on and on.Click here for our Senior Poets page and the Senior Artists page.Again, if you have spent your life in business or service, you have lots of skills. But the arts are what they call ‘right brain activities’ and that is the part of our brain most connected with mood.
I have several friends who have pursued art since retirement. Some paint; others draw or write. One of them confided in me thatshe ‘does art every day’ just because it makes her feel so good.
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