Social Interaction: How Important It Is to Age Gracefully and Some Recreational Activities To Promote It
Continuing social interaction into our senior life is critically important. Social interaction is the key to maintaining a healthy mental and emotional state. Recreational activities help you not only age gracefully and also maximize our fun as a senior.
How to choose the right activity - First and foremost, follow our passions and likes. Any hobby or recreational activity that piques our interest is worth exploring. If you aren’t interested, chances are you won’t be motivated to continue our activity or hobby. Second, find a group of people who are also interested in our activity or hobby. Finally, and this is more of a bonus, an activity that promotes movement and some light exercise is perfect.
A Walking Outdoor Activity - a great activity that promotes both physical activity and social interaction is golf. This really hits two of three criteria and is a bonus if you enjoy the sport. Golf is a very popular activity with others of any age range. In addition to playing and competing with people our own age, the rules of golf allow you to compete with people of all ages. Many courses have favorable rates, especially senior discounts, during the week when others are working. Golf also promotes exercise, grab your favorite driver and do some swing. Walking nine or eighteen holes is low impact cardio to keep you fit and limber, just don’t’ forget your golf hat.
Walking or Running Clubs - these types of clubs are great because they are very cheap. All it requires is some shoes and an easy walking route. Walking clubs have grown in popularity over the years and help you meet people from all walks of life. These aren’t competitive, meaning you won’t have to push yourself too hard to fit in and enjoy. Walking clubs are especially preferential because they promote social interaction. Many walks stir up a lot of good conversations and could spur more interests within the group. Walking is a great low impact exercise.
Additional Read: MINDFUL WALKING TO PREVENT FALLS
Exercise classes - not all of us are excited about going to exercise classes or groups but they have many benefits. Most recreational centers like the YMCA have classes designed for seniors like water classes and moderate aerobics classes. These classes don’t aim to get your blood pressure or get you out of breathing so you will be able to enjoy socializing or commiserating with others in your class!
Test Your Green Thumb- A great way to be in the outdoors with a great following is gardening. Many communities have local gardens that you can rent or co-rent with another person. People who garden enjoy it passionately, there will rarely be a shortage of conversation. Gardening is good exercise but be sure to watch your posture. It can be hard on your back and knees but making sure you are paying attention to your body signals is important. Once you and your new friends can harvest you could then enjoy a well-cooked meal with the produce you each harvest!
No matter your new activity whether it is on the list or not, if you follow the simple rules above you will enjoy a graceful ascent into your senior years.