HOBBIES ARE GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH

Do you have a hobby? Hobbies can give meaning and purpose to your life in retirement. As Robert Putnam points out in his book, Bowling Alone, it’s easy to discount the importance of hobbies and social engagements. Putnam details the widespread decline in civic engagement, from PTA memberships to neighborhood potlucks and bowling leagues. Over a couple of generations, Americans have misplaced the concept of free time.

SPECIAL PLANS FOR YOUR SPECIAL PEOPLE

Lily is a beautiful, active and full of personality toddler who happens to have Down syndrome. Lily’s parents and I have been friends for years and I have the continuing pleasure of watching Lily and her siblings grow up. While Lily is becoming a physical therapy rock star and hitting all her milestones in a timely fashion, her parents have started planning for the future.

….FULL ARTICLE

WHY WE ENJOY OUR HOBBIES

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a hobby as “a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation, engaged in especially for relaxation.” Hobbies include anything from playing a musical instrument to gardening, bird watching or sewing. A hobby is a way of focusing on something you enjoy just for the sake of that enjoyment. It may also be a way to clear your mental palette. You could be stressed out by a situation at work or the challenges of raising children and need an escape.

….FULL ARTICLE

….FULL ARTICLE

Use the buttons below to scroll through more great articles from Living Well 60 + Magazine

MORE ARTICLES

Be Sociable, Share!

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Delicious Share on Digg Share on Google Bookmarks Share on LinkedIn Share on LiveJournal Share on Newsvine Share on Reddit Share on Stumble Upon Share on Tumblr

MORE ARTICLES

CONTACT INFORMATION

© Living Well 60+ Magazine - All rights reserved | Design by Aurora Automations LLC.

MORE FROM ROCKPOINT PUBLISHING

LIVING WELL 60+ MAGAZINE

HOME | FEATURE ARTICLES | COLUMN ARTICLES | DIGITAL ISSUES | CALENDAR | DIRECTORY | ABOUT | CONTACT

subscribe to living Well 60+

Always be aware of where you’re walking. Watch your step even on a trail that seems smooth and accessible. Limit distractions such as wearing headphones. You need to have all your senses alert. Listen instead to the music of nature all around you – leaves rustling, a brook rippling down the mountainside, birds singing.


Let someone know where you’re going to hike and when you expect to return. If something unfortunate happens, your contact person will be able to direct rescue crews to where you might be.


If you encounter wildlife, keep your distance – don’t approach them. Most of the time wild animals are just as eager to avoid you as you are to avoid them.


And last, but certainly not least, be respectful of the environment and of the other hikers who will walk the same path. Don’t litter; take your trash back out with you. Don’t try to blaze your own trails or create shortcuts. Don’t break branches or dig holes or otherwise damage the trees and natural beauty you encounter. Leave everything you find in the wilderness where it belongs – even rocks. One motto to remember is: “Leave only footprints; take only memories.”


Now lace up your hiking shoes and get out there! The wonderful world awaits. And the mountain views are worth it!


Sources and Resources


Today’s seniors are an active bunch. You won’t find them sitting on the front porch in rockers, watching the world go by. They are out there in the midst of things, eager to find new adventures and enjoy new experiences.


For on-the-go seniors who love a challenge, hiking can be an exhilarating hobby. It can be as vigorous as you want (think Rocky Mountain climbing) or just a way to take in local scenery. Regular hiking can reduce arthritis, ease joint and knee pain, boost bone density and improve cardiovascular health. If you want to give hiking a try, here are some tips for getting started:


As always, check with your primary care physician before beginning any new, potentially strenuous activity.


Start with a short hike on an easy trail and gradually build up to longer, more challenging hikes. You can find local trails on sites such as www.alltrails.com. Obey posted trail rules.


Take water, a snack such as a banana or energy bar and emergency gear such as a lighter, a flashlight and a whistle. You may also consider bringing a first-aid kit, a knife or multitool and a trash bag. You can stash all these items and more in a sturdy backpack. Check the weather before you go.  

HIKING TIPS FOR SENIORS

Remember if you are hiking in the mountains, the temperature drops the higher you go, and often the weather changes quickly. (In general, you can expect the temperature to go down about 5 degrees Fahrenheit for every 1,000 feet you climb.) And be aware of the time of day – you don’t want to get stuck on a trail when darkness falls.


Dress appropriately – and even bring extra layers. Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts so your legs and arms aren’t scraped by branches and bushes. Put a spare pair of socks in your backpack in case your feet get wet.


What about footwear? A good pair of sneakers or trail runners will suffice, but if you want to invest in hiking boots, make sure they fit well, have a good grip, support your ankles and are waterproof.


Hiking or trekking poles are good for balance and allow you to gain better footing along the trail. They can help when you’re hiking up steep places and they can help you keep your footing when going downhill.