As you get older, you might find yourself having more spare time – especially as you come to the end of your working life.
One of the biggest challenges you can face as you hit retirement age is finding things to fill your spare time.
There are so many hours in a day, and so many possibilities for things to do.
It may seem like there’s nothing to do at first.
But in reality there are so many hobbies and other activities that will get you out and about and keep you physically, mentally and socially active.
You might be worried that you’re “too old” to try something new.
Well, it turns out you could be wrong.
A survey in the UK has found that the majority of people over 60 years take up a new challenge in their later years.
71% of those surveyed tried something new from learning a new language to dancing and outdoor activities such as mountain climbing.
The survey also revealed that 38% of over-60s described their lifestyle as interesting, 20% said it was fun and 24% said it was rewarding.
Over-60s were also asked what hobbies they would like to do and the results make for a good guide if you’re not sure what to do yourself.
25% wanted to learn a new language, while 22% wanted to dance and 21% wanted to learn a new skill.
Other hobbies and activities including bike riding 10%, fun nights out 11%, acting 8%, DIY 8%, yoga 7% and a new sport 6%.
Forget what you know about hobbies for older people.
Yes, there are many who still enjoy games of chess or bowls.
But nowadays hobbies are crossing over many age groups.
So what works for you?
Well, let’s start with the creative hobbies.
Painting, performing in a play and woodwork are all examples of creative hobbies.
The best thing about creative hobbies is they can appeal to both men and women, and there’s no boundaries with age or abilities.
Woodworking can be a great social activity, it’s relaxing, and keeps your mind, eyes and hands active and focused.
Why not join a woodworking club or a men’s shed and make some new friends with like-minded people?
The same applies to other art hobbies such as sculpting and painting, whether it’s socially with an art group or at home – it’s a great way to channel your creativity and keep your mind active.
And of course there’s textile arts such as sewing, quilting, crochet and knitting.
Photography is another great creative hobby that can get you out and about, and there’s still plenty of photography groups out there to make it a social activity.
Why not incorporate it with scrapbooking to add an extra element of creativity?
Performing arts groups are also popular, with many senior theatre groups out there to help you channel your inner performer from singing to dancing to acting.
If you don’t see yourself as the creative type, there’s activities you can do at home as hobbies.
What about cooking and gardening?
Chances are you probably already do these. Guess what? They count as hobbies too!
Gardening is a great hobby for getting outdoors and combines exercise with a variety of physical and mental health benefits.
It’s a hobby you can share with your family and friends, and if you want to get involved socially, join a gardening club or help out in a community garden.
Cooking works the same and let’s face it, it’s one of the many life skills you already have in your repertoire.
If you want to share your cooking hobby socially, join a cooking club or get involved with a CWA branch.
You’re never too old to enjoy a sport.
That’s why for seniors there are plenty of options when it comes to playing sports.
Whether you want to hit a few balls at the golf course with friends or join a bowls club and soak up the social atmosphere in a slower paced sport, there are plenty of sports that you could take up as a hobby.
Other senior friendly sports include tennis, darts, swimming and croquet.
Swimming can be a great leisurely hobby in particular, with proven health benefits such as decreasing the risk of chronic illness, improving health if you have heart disease or diabetes, easing osteoarthritis pain and improving your cardiovascular system and mood.
While we’re on the topic of physical activities, do you love to dance?
Well, dancing is a great option as a hobby and can be a great hobby for you and your partner to enjoy together.
Not only is dancing a fun form of exercise, and great socially, it also has a variety of health benefits for your muscles, balance, cardiovascular system, brain function and stress levels.
And it doesn’t matter if you can’t dance. Join a dancing club or take dance classes to boost learn new dances and show off your moves at the next family wedding or party.
If you’re looking for a low-impact exercise as a hobby, there’s a range of light activities from walking to yoga.
Walking can be a great social activity and keep you fit at the same time.
Join a walking group and get out and about and see your town, you’ll meet new people, see new sights and keep fit all at the same time.
If you prefer to exercise in the one spot, there’s always yoga and pilates. The best thing about these exercises is they can act like meditation. Some yoga exercises don’t require very much movement and mobility at all, in fact some classes barely involve having to get up and down from the floor.
There’s a world of other hobbies out there – restoring old cars or old items, collecting different things, floral arrangements, animal activities such as dog or cat showing, horse riding, cycling – there’s so much you can do.
All you have to do is give it a try, get involved and see what works for you.