There is an old saying: “Youth is wasted on the young and retirement is wasted on the old.” Well, whether you were active in your youth or not, there is no excuse to be inactive as you age into becoming a “senior.” In many ways, age can become as much a battle of your will as it is your body. One of the quality of life factors that can have an impact on the quality of your aging years is what, if any, activities you are doing.
Previously, we pointed out that an object in motion tends to stay in motion. An active lifestyle consisting of hobbies, work, volunteerism, family and friends, culture, and nature is more meaningful and healthy than being a couch potato. One of the keys to people who live long lives is that their life continued to have meaning. Staying engaged in activities and bringing meaning to others will help bring meaning to you. Many people continue to work or take on second careers in later life. Hobbies, volunteer work, learning new skills, or getting more involved with your family are all paths to an active and meaningful life.
Here are six categories of activities ideally suited to promote a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle as we are aging:
1) Physical activities that will keep your body on the move and allow you to engage nature on your own or in the company of others
2) Games that will help keep your mind sharp, your competitive juices flowing and you socially engaged
3) Technical pursuits that keep your mind engaged, your eye-finger coordination strong and can keep you both socially connected and possibly even making some spare money
• Wood working
• Mechanical tinkering
• Computer skills (and staying connected through email and social media like Facebook)
4) Clubs with a purpose that will keep you socially engaged, mentally stimulated and learning new information or skills
• Book clubs
• Movie clubs
• Investment clubs
• Scrap-booking (cropping) clubs
• Gardening clubs
• Coffee clubs
• Card and Game clubs
5) Mindful activities that can uplift your spirit, mind and body
• Tai Chi
• Fly Tying
6) Lifestyle activities that will enrich your life that you can engage on your own, with your spouse, or with family and friends
• Academic Classes
Now take the Active Lifestyle Test by circling which activities you are currently pursuing in your life. If you score one or more in at least half of these categories you are fairly active. If you score in more than half of these categories or all of them, congratulations you are very active and it will contribute a great deal towards your continued healthy living.