Valley of the Sun, AZ

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Participating in Activities Is More Than Just Fun and Games — It’s for Your Health

  September 07, 2017

Submitted by Generations Senior Living

There are many things you can do to help yourself age well: exercise and be physically active, make healthy food choices, and don’t smoke. Did you know that participating in activities you enjoy may also help support healthy aging? As people get older, they often find themselves spending more and more time alone. The isolation can lead to depression and is not good for your health. If you find yourself spending a lot of time alone, try adding a volunteer or social activity to your routine. Research tells us that older people with an active lifestyle…
  • Are less likely to develop certain diseases. Participating in hobbies and other social and leisure pursuits may lower risk for developing some health problems, including dementia.
  • Have a longer lifespan. One study showed that older adults who reported taking part in social activities (such as playing games, belonging to social groups or traveling) or meaningful, productive activities (such as having a paid or unpaid job or gardening) lived longer than people who did not.
  • Are happier and less depressed. Studies suggest that older adults who participate in what they believe are meaningful activities, like volunteering in their communities, say they feel happier and more healthy.
  • Are better prepared to cope with loss. Studies suggest that volunteering can help with stress and depression from the death of a spouse. Among people who experienced a loss, those who took part in volunteer activities felt more positive about their own abilities (reported greater self-efficacy).
  • May be able to improve their thinking abilities. Another line of research is exploring how participating in creative arts might help people age well. Studies are providing new information about ways that creative activities like music or dance can help older adults
Get out and about
Would you like to get more involved in your community or be more socially active? There are plenty of places to look for opportunities, depending on your interests. Here are some ideas:

Activities to consider:
  • Join a senior center and take part in its events and activities
  • Play cards or other games with friends
  • Go to the theater, a movie, or a sporting event
  • Travel with a group of older adults, such as a retiree group
  • Visit friends and family
  • Try different restaurants
  • Join a group interested in a hobby like knitting, hiking, painting, or wood carving
Learn something new:
  • Take a cooking, art, or computer class
  • Form or join a book club
  • Try yoga, tai chi, or another new physical activity
  • Learn (or relearn) how to play a musical instrument
Be physically active:
  • Garden or do yard work
  • Take an exercise class
  • Go dancing
  • Walk or bicycle with a friend or neighbor
  • Swim or take a swimming class
  • Play with your grandchildren
Find the right balance
Everyone has different limits to the amount of time they can spend on social or other activities. What is perfect for one person might be too much for another. Be careful not to take on too much at once. You might start by adding one or two activities to your routine and see how you feel. You can always add more. Remember — participating in activities you enjoy should be fun, not stressful.

Generations Senior Living offers vibrant living with an extensive array of services and amenities for independent living, assisted living and memory care residents, giving them the freedom to enjoy what matters most. Stop in or call to schedule a tour, Generations at Agritopia in Gilbert , 480-485-2000, 2811 E. Agritopia Loop S. and our new location, Generations at Ahwatukee,  480-485-3000, located at 15815 South 50th Street. Find us on the web at or email us at Back to Top

September 07, 2017
Categories:  Emotional|Senior Health


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