Long gone are the days where a stereotypical image of retired folk was one of them not getting up to much beyond a spot of light gardening and perhaps, a game of bowls. These days, many retired people are so active in pursuit of all manner of activities that they often put the younger generations to shame.
One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is that people who are about to retire will often be spending time thinking about how they want to fill all the additional free time made available to them by not having to go out to work anymore and what they want to achieve out of this stage of their life.
Hobbies are Good for Your Health in Retirement
Quite often, the people who get the most from their hobbies in retirement are those who have started pursuing their chosen hobbies earlier in life. However, that’s not to say you can’t start something new. It may well be that you’ve long held a passion to try out a new sport, activity or pastime and have simply not found the time to do it whilst you’ve been working. But, whether you’re experienced or a novice, one thing that is certainly true is that retirees who pursue one or more hobbies of some kind or other are less likely to suffer from physical health problems or emotional problems such as depression and the more active the hobby, the greater the chance of living a fuller, healthier and longer life.
Choosing a Hobby
If you’ve yet to identify how you might want to spend your time once you’ve retired, there are a number of questions you can ask yourself to narrow down your choices. And, whilst there may be some hobbies which you can do solo, e.g. reading, photography etc., you will reap even greater benefits if you choose to participate in one or more group activities as well as this will help to keep you socially active and your mind more stimulated which can often be a problem when you lose the daily social camaraderie provided by the working environment.
You should begin by asking yourself what sort of interests and activities inspire and motivate you. Find out if there are any groups in your local area you can join or, if there aren’t any, you might think about seeing how you can start one up yourself. Ask yourself whether you’re truly physically capable of performing your chosen activity and what you hope to learn by doing it. Remember also that certain hobbies cost far more to pursue than others so ensure that your choice is manageable within your new financial budget balanced against household bills and everyday costs which you’ll still be incurring after you retire.
Mental Stimulation as Well as Physical
Whilst remaining or becoming physically active will be an important part of your ability to keep in shape and to stay in good health throughout your retirement, it’s important you don’t neglect the mental side. Quiz nights down at your local pub or community centre or pitting your wits against the contestants on TV shows or simply doing the daily crossword in your newspaper will all help to keep the ‘grey matter’ ticking over. Furthermore, mental stimulation has been scientifically proven to delay the onset of medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, for example.
A Healthy Balance
In general, retirement frees up your time to enjoy it in whichever way you choose. A great way to enjoy this time is to fill it with hobbies which are a mixture of solo and group activities both with people who are long established friends and others who are simply ‘friends you’ve yet to meet’.
And, remember, people that plan an active retirement tend to live longer, happier, healthier lives and are more fun to be around than those who simply do nothing and have no plans at all.