There are numerous ways to stay healthy and active while still having fun as you enter the last decades of life. Enjoying life and being a part of some fun pastimes are one of these ways; and there are many to choose from. No matter your age, abilities, or interests, choosing a fun activity that brings laughter to your life will keep you staying happy and healthy. Plus, many of these activities cost little to no money. Below are the top activities that seniors can get involved in while living in their 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, or even their Eighties. Remember, the purpose of fun activities is to help you enjoy life. If you happen to show off your creative side while doing so, well that’s a good benefit. Plus, if you act a little silly at times, don’t panic, just go with it.
1. Active Sports and Games
Choosing any sports or active games will give seniors opportunities to exercise, while improving their hand-eye coordination and give them a sense of satisfaction. Active sports can also help seniors overcome challenges, due to mobility issues. There are a variety of games suitable for seniors. Examples of active sports and games will include tennis, swimming, basketball, bowling, badminton, golf, and bocce. These types of sports will also help control and lower your blood pressure, burn off excess calories and fat, and keep you fit. Some active activities like the ones mentioned above can be done individually, as a couple, or even as a team of players. The choices are endless. Many of the active sports just mentioned are part of the Senior Olympics, or what is now called the National Senior Games. It is run by the National Senior Games Association, which promotes healthy and active lifestyles for seniors who are 50 and over. These games help encourage the elderly to stay active, have fun, and compete among their peers. However, it is recommended to only those who are fit and actively strength train. The next National Senior Games are in Pittsburgh, PA from July 7-18, 2023.
2. Traditional Games and Puzzles
Unlike active sports, choosing to do traditional games or puzzles are still a great option. They may not help seniors control their physical bodies; however, they can keep their mind and concentration to stay focused and mentally active. In fact, many seniors join clubs or organizations that promote good mental health by getting involved in games that require thinking and concentration. Examples of these traditional games will include board games, such as monopoly, chess, and checkers. However, there are some concentration games that deal with cards, like uno, poker, solitaire, and bridge. Other options are simple crossword puzzles, dominos, and bingo. Whichever you choose, any of these games that can keep your mind staying active in your later years is essential to your mental health. These types of games are great for seniors to help them also sharpen their reasoning and improve their problem-solving, critical thinking, and logical thinking skills. Many of these games can be done either indoors or outside, weather permitting. In addition, some traditional games or puzzles can be played as a competitive, yet friendly sport. There is even a competitive gaming tournament for certain board games. It is open to all ages.
3. Outdoor Activities like Birdwatching and Gardening
Being outside and soaking in Vitamin D from the Sun is a great way to stay healthy for seniors. Getting sunlight helps increase serotonin in your bodies, which then promotes a positive mood effect. Adding an outdoor activity at the same time is even better. Some common outdoor activities that attract older adults are gardening and birdwatching. In fact, there are many benefits to bird watching. It increases your mental health by allowing you to relax and meditate. It can also be done solo, or with a group, making this a more enjoyable pastime. There are many more fun activities outdoors too. Some may be hiking, boat riding, or just having a picnic with the grandkids. Some seniors may also enjoy kite flying or taking nature pictures while on a nature walk. Bottom line is, as long as the weather is nice and inviting, there will always be a fun activity to do while enjoying the outdoors.
4. Outings or Events
Another fun activity for seniors is going to an event or some type of outdoor outing. Of course, it is more fun to do these types of activities with another person or a group of people. Showing up to a concert with no one is not exactly something that seniors will do, unless they plan to meet people there once they arrive. It is also a great way to share memories and experiences that you don’t normally do on a daily basis. These event activities may include theme parks, concerts, sporting events, and musicals. Some other outings are events that come around every so often, such as carnivals, county fairs, and art shows. There are also some seniors who take trips, like visiting a winery or traveling across the Blue Ridge Mountains with a loved one or the grandkids . Although seniors are not that inclined to go clubbing, they could still enjoy these types of events. These events can bring laughter to the soul and provide excitement and exploration to those who need it most.
5. Arts and Crafts
Now, our next type of fun activities are actually good for all ages, not just seniors or the elderly. Arts and crafts, or what many call creative activities, are ideal for those who want to learn a new skill, try a new hobby, or just have fun with whichever materials are available at the given time. It can bring to light a lost “art” in someone’s life that they previously had. Or, reignite a passion that they had always wanted to try but never had the opportunity to do so. Types of arts and craft activities include painting, clay modeling, crocheting, beading, quilting, sketching, and even card making. Sometimes senior centers may offer a class or session to senior participants for free or at a low cost. It is also common for young adults or even children to lead or teach these classes to the seniors who want to try something new.
6. Adult Learning Opportunities
One of the most important things to never stop doing is learning. Learning keeps us on our toes and feeds our curiosity. It also can help seniors build a career or find a new job that brings forth not only benefits, but profits. Many seniors are coming out of retirement to go back to school. It may be for a variety of reasons, such as there is nothing to do at home and they feel bored. Other reasons may be to supplement their income. Whichever the case, they find they want to still learn and have every right to do so. Some great examples of these learning opportunities are more focused on a specific task. Like learning a new language or playing a new musical instrument. If you love being in the kitchen, them learning to create exotic foods or a new cuisine. Some seniors may enjoy learning to design websites or writing code. The learning opportunities for seniors are endless and many will love to take average of this time to make a difference in their lives. No matter your age, learning something new can help keep your mind fresh and going strong.
7. Social Gatherings
Other types of fun activities for seniors are social gatherings. Socializing is a great way to stay connected to your peers; and doing a fun activity at the same time makes it more exciting. Social gathering can enlighten your mood and outlook for the day. Going to outdoor parties or gatherings can also be a great way to meet new people and we all know that seniors love to talk about the good old times. Some good examples of these social gatherings are being invited to a Murder Mystery or Ugly sweather parties, going to a Mardi Gras bash, or hanging out with close friends at a Secret Santa function. Sometimes seniors may also enjoy a Hawaiian Luau celebration. Whatever your interest or favorite pastime may be, there will always be some place to have fun and enjoy with both family and friends.
8. More Active Activities to Move your Body (and Soul)
There are so many other fun activities for seniors to get involved in. Dancing is one of those great pastimes to do. When you dance, it is not only a physical activity, it can alleviate stress and promotes pleasure. Connecting your body with good vibes and upbeat rhythms is the key to feeling happy, while promoting a healthy lifestyle. Another activity is being a part of a karaoke singing party. Whether at a night club or local bar, it can also bring seniors out for some fun and creative entertainment that don’t normally do. Either out with the family or some close friends, the main idea is to enjoy yourself and have fun, no matter how good (or bad) the singing may be. Seniors may also get involved in some performing arts activities, such as stand-up comedy or acting for a skit play at a local theater. Whatever you choose, the point is to have fun doing it.
The Importance of Playing Games for Seniors
We all know the many health benefits for seniors when enjoying fun activities. Some are physical benefits, while others are spiritual, emotional, or mental benefits. Below are just a few possibilities of how staying active, happy, and healthy can help while play games.
Brain functionality: The first on this list is how activities effects the brain. And that includes improving your brain function. Some fun activities help maintain memory. Brain function can also work to boost your ability to learn new and exciting things. Playing games daily may enhance creativity in seniors that may not normally have tried something before, such as a painting class for beginners. Playing games like chess can help seniors with mental sharpness. Whatever the games is, there is always some mental benefits that come with it.
Building, maintaining, or healing relationships: One of the saddest things to here is an elderly person that has no more connection to society. Whether it be that their family or friends are gone or distant, or that they are just been put aside by lack of local community involvement. It’s true, many seniors get lonely when there is no relationship to build or create. In fact, seniors who live without no one, may spend over 10 hours alone on an average day. But creating fun through these activities mentioned above can enable seniors to build new friendships or improve the relationships that may already exist.
A new competitive edge: Most people, including seniors, find that a little friendly competition can be good for your health and wellbeing. Being a part of competitive games can increase a senior’s mental state as much as their physical one. It can also increase harmony and trust between those participating in the games as well. Plus, competition is also good for the soul. You are striving for a goal or a purpose, to be better; or to go further than you previously did.
The bottom line: When engaging in fun activities, a variety of possibilities can happen. For seniors, they may be able to create more joyful moments and learn something new. Fun activities can also help seniors relieve stress and depression, while boosting their immune system. Some activities can also lower the risk of injury and increase an optimistic attitude while giving seniors a new way to enjoy life. If you are a senior and do not know where to start, we encourage you to make a bucket list. Find what you are interested in learning about and go for it. Whether it be getting outdoors and planting a garden, going to a karaoke bar with friends, or improving on your skill at chess. The possibilities are endless.