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.

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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.

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Amazon or on lulu. com, espouse the same admoni- tion: “Moderate, daily training.” Durbin is proof there is no need for the highly veneered programs that have led to so many injuries and have proven to be unsustainable for health and wellness. Get moving – and keep moving.

There seems to be no escape from the universal maxim, “Move it or lose it.” Doubleblind studies are not necessary to know and understand that if we stop moving, we disintegrate and eventually stop moving forever. Sure, people live to age 100 years with little physical activity, but the quality of their life remains in question.


Staying active for health and wellness has never been an issue of wondering if it’s true, at least not in the way smoking was once thought to be good for you. The real issue with activity lies more in the willingness of the owner of the active body. Do all of us know that diet fads don’t work? Of course we do. Will people continue to buy the hope these programs offer because they would rather not do a few push-ups or go for a half- hour walk? Of course they will.


Do people want to face the truth that it’s really about eating one less cupcake and doing one more lap – that it’s a numbers game of input vs. output? No – because that, like so many other things, is simply not what they want to hear.


While many faddish programs for exercise come and go, the basics stay. Some of us are old enough to remember Jack LaLane and his workout program. A whole industry was built around this idea. While LaLane wasn’t the first to jump on the exercise bandwagon, he was certainly an innovator. Remember Sweatin’ to the Oldies with Richard Simmons?

STAYING ACTIVE

Then came Billy Blanks and Tae Bo (these VHS tapes can be found on Goodwill shelves across the country). We’ve endured P90X, Insanity and on and on. Most of these programs are abandoned now, reduced from the premium price tags of their heydays to costing a few bucks on Amazon or at a local garage sale.


Bill Durbin, author of The Enlightenment of Exercise, claims moderate, daily training is the key to better health and longevity. People get into an excited state of mind and decide to get active. Great, but then they overdo it and hurt themselves, or at the very least they find they can’t keep up with an unreasonable daily regimen. Then they bail on all of it. With each backslide, it becomes more and more challenging to get started again and stay motivated.


If you are determined to stay active, patience and regular daily effort is required, Durbin says. He should know. As a martial arts teacher in Frankfort for nearly 50 years, he hasn’t missed a day work- ing out since the 1970s. In his classes, he goes through hundreds of push-ups and crunches daily, in addition to following a stretching routine. Currently 64 years old, he’s more like a 20-year-old Olympian. He has set the example of moderate, daily training over many years, leading to better health and quality of life. His many books, most of which are available on

CHARLES SEBASTIAN

Charles Sebastian is a Staff Writer for Living Well 60+ Magazine

more articles by charles sebastian