Golden Years, Golden Hobbies

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Hobbies are something open to people of all ages. Discover five engaging pastimes that older adults can savour during their golden years. It is never too late to explore new interests and passions!

Chess

The proverb “Chess is an ocean in which a gnat may drink, or an elephant may bathe,” speaks to how people of all ages and skill levels can take as much or as little from the game as they like.

One can study it intensely to master the game and compete at high levels. 

Chess is nearly inexhaustible. Even if you spent a lifetime learning openings, mid-game tactics, and end-game strategy, there are people at an even higher level.

There are also countless people who just like playing the game casually and don’t prioritize mastering the game.

Playing chess helps keep the mind active, and some studies show that it improves memory, a wonderful benefit to anybody, especially older adults. 

Daily Walks

Daily Walks

Some people walk to get to where they’re going. Others do it for the joy of moving their bodies, checking out their neighbourhoods, or bumping into friends.

Older adults who live in an active senior living centre are surrounded by like-minded people looking to get outside and chat.

Walking is something people do casually but also ritualistically in groups. It’s a low-impact activity that’s excellent for the body, whichever approach you take.

Using a phone to track your steps is a great way to get motivated and keep you on track. Establish a daily target and try to hit it every day, or at least as often as you can. 

Cooking

Some pastimes exist mostly to provide pleasure to the hobbyist. Cooking is a wonderful activity because it has a very practical communal benefit. Everybody loves to eat!

Maybe you’re an older adult who hasn’t cooked much over the years, or you’d like to expand your repertoire.

Perhaps your diet and nutritional needs have changed, and you’d like to prepare suitable meals that also match your flavor profile. 

To many, cooking for other people is a form of love. Even if you’re not a pro chef, everyone appreciates eating something made for them. And as you practice your hobby, the food will only taste more delicious! 

Bird Watching

There’s a difference between walking through nature and seeing it. Bird watchers understand something essential about their geographic setting that’s hard to grasp any other way.

Certain bird species tend to flock to specific locations and move with the seasons. Watching them and tracking their habits helps you understand the birds you find, but also where you live.

You won’t walk through your environment the same way after you understand how birds respond to it.

Bird watching aligns with another hobby mentioned above — walking. However, if you take a friend out to go bird watching and show them a side of nature they didn’t appreciate before, they’ll be really grateful.

Check out the birds in your local park, or go further afield and explore other varieties and environments. 

Crossword Puzzles

Crossword Puzzles

Crossword puzzles are a great way to stay entertained and keep the mind sharp! They come in many different difficulty levels and even personalities.

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Once you get a feel for, say, the New York Times crossword, you’ll understand how they write clues and what type of answer they want.

Crosswords may have a theme, like “Americana,” “music,” or something else. Crosswords can differ significantly, but they’re all fun.

Just start with the clues you know off the bat to be definitely correct and use the letters as hints for the remaining horizontal or vertical words. 

One last suggestion for crossword solving, but it’s a good one: if a clue asks for the plural, you can fill in an “s” in the last blank, even if you don’t know the rest of the word.

Sometimes, this helps you complete a different clue, and there could be many such hints in the same crossword. 

Writing

There are many different types of writing a person can do. They all have their strengths, and none of them are wrong to try.

Many people look back on their decades and try to write a memoir. Even if nobody else reads it, it crystallizes the story of their life and helps stir up fond memories. 

Others try to take a stab at that novel they’ve been meaning to write. Perhaps you want to write letters or emails to friends and family that delve into something deeper than a simple hello and a summary of what you’ve been up to lately. 

Older adults have more free time than they probably did in the years many spend working or raising families.

Picking an old hobby to improve at or a new one to take up will only help to make the golden years shine.

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