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Did you know that having hobbies and staying socially active is just as important to living a long life as diet and exercise?

Engaging in fun activities and having abundant social connections are essential to healthy aging. Not to mention, when seniors are happy and having fun with friends, it improves their quality of life and prevents isolation. If that’s not motivation for finding new hobbies and maintaining friendships, we’re not sure what is!

Let’s take a look at seven healthy hobbies for seniors to enjoy!

  1. Swimming. Swimming is an excellent activity that improves cardiovascular health, flexibility and balance. It also strengthens the muscles and boosts posture. The nice thing about swimming compared to other physical activities is that it’s easy on the joints and great for osteoarthritis patients.
  1. Dancing. Dancing isn’t just fun; it’s a great way to socialize and be with others. Dancing improves balance, gait and overall body functioning. One study also found that dancing was associated with a lower risk of dementia.
  1. Gardening. Gardening is a wonderful activity for seniors because it promotes relaxation, reduces stress levels and increases mobility and flexibility. It’s perfect for seniors who enjoy being outdoors and connecting with nature. Plus, there is nothing better than being able to watch the fruits of your labor.
  1. Volunteering. Older people have a lot to offer, but they sometimes forget this. Volunteering reminds them of their worth and helps them find their purpose in society. Some of the best volunteer opportunities include working with pets, helping out at a senior center or assisting at a fundraiser event.
  1. Caring for a Pet. Pets are some of the best companions for seniors. Not only do they provide seniors with a sense of purpose, but also pets increase feel-good chemicals in the brain. Pets can also lower stress levels and blood pressure. If you have a cat or dog that you love to be with, you understand this relationship!
  1. Arts and Crafts. Arts and crafts may seem to be ordinary for seniors, but they cannot be underestimated. These hands-on projects stimulate the mind and improve fine motor skills. They are also soothing and therapeutic and provide individuals with dementia with a better quality of life. Some popular activities include painting, knitting, sculpting and scrapbooking.
  1. Golfing. Golfing may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the sport can offer a range of benefits for those who enjoy it. For instance, golfing improves flexibility, range of motion and strength. It also gets seniors outdoors and socializing with others. Just be sure to take the proper precautions, such as choosing a day that’s not too hot, bringing along water and snacks and dressing appropriately (i.e., breathable clothes, wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, sunscreen).

Everyone needs some fun in their life! Encourage your loved one to be active – it’s just as important as eating healthy and taking their vitamins!