Senior carpenter carving wood with engraver tool. Restoring old furniture.

11 Life-Giving Hobbies for Seniors

Retirement hobbies run the gamut from quiet, solitary pursuits to large-group community efforts. For people of all ages, it’s good to have a combination of pastimes that target different aspects of wellness.

“At WhiteStone, we promote and facilitate activities that address seven dimensions of wellness: physical, intellectual, emotional, social, vocational, environmental, and spiritual,” says Marie Dunn, Director of Sales and Marketing. “Our calendar of activities and extensive amenities offer residents countless opportunities to stay engaged and actively pursue their interests.”

Here are eleven retirement hobbies that can enhance your quality of life.

Hobby Ideas for Greater Health and Happiness

1. Swimming
Swimming is good for your joints, balance, and heart. Regular pool exercise also offers a safe way to sneak in some cardio, tone muscles, and build bone strength. It’s even been shown to improve mental health and sleep quality. At WhiteStone, residents can stay physically active in our pool.

2. Woodworking
The woodworking shop at WhiteStone offers many residents the opportunity to learn a brand-new skill. It’s a popular hobby because it allows you to be creative and social and also gives you the chance to make something for a loved one. One study even suggests that seniors who craft are 45% less likely to develop mental impairment.

3. Fitness Classes
Whether you practice chair yoga, attend tai chi classes, or incorporate a daily walk into your schedule, exercise can have profound effects on your health and longevity. WhiteStone offers daily fitness classes for residents to support their physical health and prevent more intensive senior care in the future.

4. Art Classes
WhiteStone’s art studio gives you the chance to delve into creative hobbies you may not have tried since you were a kid. Our classes give you a start, but the possibilities are endless. Taking on a creative pursuit can reduce stress, improve hand-eye coordination, and support mental health.

 5. Volunteering
Volunteering is one aspect of WhiteStone’s goal to promote vocational health. Residents have a wealth of knowledge and wisdom that they can use to teach, edify, and assist others. WhiteStone believes that giving back gives you purpose, which is one of the keys to maintaining lifelong wellness.

 6. Excursions and Outings
A change in scenery can be good for the soul. WhiteStone hosts outings and trips throughout North Carolina and beyond for residents to bond over new experiences.

7. Writing
Developing a writing practice can be therapeutic for people, young and old. It can help people process feelings, make sense of hardships, and develop gratitude. For seniors with a lifetime of experiences, writing about their life is a way for them to impart wisdom and insight they have gained.

8. Billiards or ping pong
Especially for extroverts, your hobby might be discovered in WhiteStone’s billiards/game room. For those wanting a more athletic activity, ping pong might be best. For those who would rather relax a bit, card games could be the ticket! Whatever the activity, this socialization will support mental, physical, and cognitive health.

9. Gardening
Community gardens – like the one on WhiteStone’s campus – offer seniors a place to reminisce about the past, reconnect with nature, and be active outdoors. This outlet has been shown to reduce the risk of some illnesses and stress, and gain social support.

10. Needlework
Embroidery, crochet, weaving, and knitting are all wonderful ways to keep your joints healthy and hand-eye coordination strong. An array of patterns and possibilities are accessible with websites like Pinterest and Ravelry. Regardless of whether you learn on your own or with a group, you can create cherished gifts for family and friends.

11. Interest Groups or Planning Committees
At WhiteStone, there are an abundance of groups that meet around specific interests or pursuits. Instead of learning a new skill on your own, you can reach out and connect with others with similar ambitions and curiosities.

Benefits of Hobbies for Seniors

WhiteStone encourages residents to take up new hobbies because this sort of involvement results in better overall health and well-being.

Hobbies contribute to better health. Older adults who regularly engage in enjoyable activities are at a lower risk for certain diseases. Regardless of the kind of activity they practice – physical, social, or creative – they stand to gain significant health benefits.

Hobbies help older adults maintain a sharper mind. Learning a new skill is exciting, and it offers your brain a healthy challenge. This is the perfect recipe for keeping your mind sharp and delaying the onset of dementia.

Hobbies reduce stress. Having a task to focus on can help you practice mindfulness, work through stressors, and give you a sense of accomplishment.

Hobbies support happiness. Hobbies increase self-esteem, pride and confidence. Creative pursuits, physical endeavors, and social interactions have all been shown to boost joy.

Hobbies foster community. People connect easily through shared interests and experiences. Hobbies offer a path to making new friends and deepening existing friendships.

Lifelong Wellness at WhiteStone 

WhiteStone is a Life Plan Community in Greensboro, North Carolina, that offers independent living and long-term care, including memory care, assisted living, skilled nursing, rehabilitation and in-home care. No matter your level of care needs, we provide ample opportunities to develop or discover fulfilling hobbies. Visit our Events page or check out a sample activities calendar to learn more about the fun-filled, active lifestyle at WhiteStone.