Retirement can be about rest and relaxation, but it can also be filled with senior activities to make it enjoyable and productive. Here are some you might consider when planning for retirement.
Senior Activities Ideas for a Fulfilling and Productive Retirement
1. Mentoring the Next Generation
Mentoring has several benefits for retirees, including:
- Increases your social network and allows you to socialize
- Allows you to give back to your community
Becoming a mentor allows you to share your knowledge and skills with the next generation. After all, you’ve led a long and interesting life, so you have valuable experiences you can share with those who are just starting out.
You can mentor someone who’s in the same line of work you did as an employee. You can also offer to become a foster grandparent, keeping the youth on the right path and providing them the care they need.
2. Playing Mentally-Stimulating Games
Bridge can help seniors improve their patience, problem-solving skills, and short-term memory.
If Bridge isn’t your cup of tea, you can also consider playing Chess, Scrabble, Monopoly, Snakes and Ladders, or card games.
Walking can be a low-impact workout to help seniors stay physically active. It can also be a good way to socialize if you go for a walk with somebody else or in a group.
By getting up and walking around, you can get some sun and fresh air. Try to add it to your daily routine and make it a form of exercise during your golden years.
Gardening is one of the most traditional senior activities. Here are some of the benefits it brings:
- Isn’t physically demanding because it has a relatively low impact on the body
- Being out in the sun can boost your vitamin D levels
- Provides you with healthier and free produce, the excess of which could be sold and provide additional income
- Helps you stay disciplined and productive during retirement
If you have some space in your garden, start planting herbs, vegetables, and fruits. If you don’t have a garden, you can consider urban gardening using small pots.
5. Group Exercises
Group workouts, like yoga, tai chi, water aerobics, Zumba, and ballroom, can help seniors:
- Bond better and improve their relationship with each other
- Make the workout easier and more fun
- Help the workout feel easier and go faster since it’s more enjoyable
Some retirement communities already offer group exercises as part of the daily schedule. For retirees who live alone, you can still enjoy group workouts at your local gym.
6. Playing Wii
While Wii may seem like a gadget meant for the young, it also brings several benefits for seniors:
- The virtual sports on Wii aren’t as physically-demanding as real-life sports. For example, retirees no longer need to lift a heavy bowling ball if they want to play bowling. They just need to swing their controller to release their “bowling ball” down the lane.
- Since it isn’t as physically demanding as real-life sports, even those with pre-existing conditions like arthritis and weaker bones can still work out.
- Playing Wii is also a great way to bond with younger members of the family, like grandkids. It’s a great way to bridge the generational gap and spend quality time together.
With age comes experience and wisdom, and that provides great material for storytelling. Seniors can find a new purpose in their retirement years through writing.
- Have a particularly interesting life? Tell your story through an autobiography.
- Have a lot to share about your line of work? Use that knowledge to help out others by writing a book about your industry.
- Want to use your experiences to help out the young in their personal journey? Write a self-help book.
If you don’t want to go the traditional publishing route, you can also start a blog.
8. Getting into Arts and Crafts
Working with your hands can be a very enjoyable and fulfilling activity. Whether it’s painting, baking, or pottery, your golden years can be an opportunity to learn a new skill in the creative arts.
Doing arts and crafts also helps improve motor skills, which is essential for seniors.
You can also use your craft as a side gig. Sell some of your work to friends and neighbors or join a local market to make some extra cash to boost your retirement income.
9. Exploring the World as a Group
Retirement is a great time to travel and enjoy the world, but why do it alone when you can see the world with others who are in the same boat as you?
Your retirement years can be another chance to start over and make new memories. And, a big part of that can be the company you surround yourself with.
See the world, explore new sights, and meet new people. Being in a group can make the experience even more enjoyable and memorable, so consider going on group tours or retirement cruises so you’re surrounded by fellow retirees.
One of the things people who have a career don’t have time to do is reading. Now that the burden of working hours has been lifted, you can go through your reading list at your own pace.
You can even add a social component to it by starting or joining book clubs. This is a great way to bond with other people over a shared interest.
11. Learning Through Lectures and Classes
Learning is a never-ending journey, and that doesn’t stop in retirement. You can continue taking classes or attending lectures on topics you find interesting but never had the time to study during your career-driven years.
12. Taking Care of Pets
From small critters, like rats and hamsters, to bigger animals, like cats, dogs, and even horses, pets can provide companionship and enjoyment for seniors.
Having pets can also make your surroundings livelier. Of course, proper hygiene and grooming should still be followed to lessen any chances of health concerns.
13. Learning to Play an Instrument
Learning to play a musical instrument not only teaches you a new skill — it’s also fun, too. If your voice is your instrument, you can join a choir.
Senior activities don’t need to be expensive or physically demanding. As long as you enjoy it and find value in it, don’t hesitate to try it out and add it to your routine.
Remember, age is just a number, and it shouldn’t stop you from seeking new experiences and trying out new things. I hope these senior activities list can help jumpstart your retirement planning for a smoother transition into your golden years.
What are some activities for senior citizens you’re considering for retirement? Why did you pick them? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.