The retirement years offer numerous benefits simply because of liberation from the time constraints imposed by fulltime work. Slowing down has advantages. Leisure has perks, and many of our residents at Discovery Villages Florida retirement community are finding great enjoyment in freedom from the compulsion created by exterior forces. Whether you choose to capitalize on leisure by engaging in creative hobbies, becoming an active volunteer, or regularly practicing Tai Chi, you may be surprised to know that each has secret benefits.
Creative Hobbies and their Secret Benefits
If you are looking for an activity to fill your time and occupy your mind, why not choose a creative hobby? There are many to choose from, such as:
- Making pottery
There are often local groups in Florida retirement communities in which any of these creative pastimes can be enjoyed. It is fun and rewarding to make things for the special people in your life, laboring over handmade projects with love. Enjoying the camaraderie of fellow hobbyists is also a lovely perk. There are also, however, seriously awesome benefits to regularly engaging in creative hobbies.
Based on studies and research, the following are some of the hidden benefits of creative hobbies:
- Among people who are middle-aged or elderly, creative hobbies have proven to be effective at helping to preserve memory and reduce the risk of dementia.
- Artistic pursuits appear to be more effective in promoting brain health than all of the following activities: traveling, attending movies and concerts, joining a book club, spending time with friends, online shopping, playing video games, and surfing the Internet.
- Here is a disclaimer on these studies. According to the researchers involved in these studies, for creative hobbies to provide protective benefits for cognitive functions, a person must begin engaging in them in middle age.
- Working crossword puzzles and exercising regularly are activities that, like creative hobbies, help to prevent loss of the memory function.
Secret Benefits of Volunteering
That warm, fuzzy feeling people often get from volunteering their time, talent, and resources for a good cause is no secret, but there are bonuses to volunteering that not everyone knows about. The health perks for volunteering tend to threshold at two hours per week each year (translation: more volunteering than that doesn’t seem to equate to additional health benefits). Even though you aren’t engaging in exercise for the sake of exercise, volunteering provides clear physical and mental health benefits.
Some of the health benefits of volunteering, based on long-term studies, include:
Greater longevity. Simple and sweet, volunteering helps you live longer.
Reduce risk of heart disease. A lower incident of heart disease is found among people busy with creative hobbies.
Higher functional ability. Everyday chores and the demands of everyday life are easier because of improved functional ability, among those with a creative hobby.
Lower rates of depression. Particularly for people who are involved in volunteer activities after having suffered a heart attack, there is a distinct reduction in depression and despair, both of which heart attack victims are highly susceptible to.
Higher quality of life. Seniors who volunteer report that they have increased levels of self-esteem, life satisfaction, joy, and the sense of control over physical health and life in general. All of these things amount to more than that wonderful, palpable euphoria for being a volunteer do-gooder.
Reduced chronic pain. Those who work as peer volunteers with others who suffer from the same kind of chronic pain have experienced less disability and a reduction in the intensity of pain.
Secret Benefits of Tai Chi
Tai chi is a 2,000-year-old practice that originated with the Chinese; and it involves exercises that are designed to harness life energy (qi). Gentle mind-body activities are also a part of this ancient method of self-defense, providing balance to your body’s “yin and yang.” When you engage in the graceful movement in tai chi, you experience a phenomenon referred to as “meditation in motion.” Benefits of tai chi include:
- Improved mobility and balance
- Lower risk of falling
- Reduction in stiffness and pain, including among arthritis sufferers
- Improved overall physical condition due to better coordination, flexibility, and muscle strength
- Improved immune system
- Better and longer sleep
- With prolonged participation, fibromyalgia sufferers have experienced reduced depression, fatigue, pain, and sleeplessness.
Bonus Benefits of Hobbies
The benefits of engaging in hobbies are even greater than what is mentioned above. Research shows that you can experience reduced anxiety and stress, clear your mind of negativity, ignite your creativity, boost your self-confidence, and find more opportunities to socialize by diving into a hobby.
What hobbies are you enjoying at Discovery Village Florida retirement communities? Did you have a suspicion your hobbies provided so many benefits?
Discovery Village at Sarasota Bay offers a variety of senior living programs to keep seniors healthy and active. Learn about our senior living options and amenities today when you contact us at 941.209.3466.