6 Offbeat Activities That Are Great for Older Adults

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When you think of activities that are excellent for an older adult’s physical and emotional health, you might think of walking, jogging, cycling, and swimming. Although these activities are beneficial and can be enjoyable, they’re not everyone’s cup of tea.  

Fortunately for picky older adults, there are several offbeat activities that are fun and surprisingly beneficial. Let’s take a closer look at some of them:

#1 Dancing

Dancing. Yes, dancing. Moving in sync — or, for many of us, woefully out of sync — with music can be quite beneficial. Here are some excellent reasons to keep dancing well into your 60s and beyond:

  • Dancing is excellent for your brain health, keeping ailments like dementia at bay.
  • Dancing improves your cardiovascular health, reducing blood pressure and cholesterol. 
  • Like any physical activity, it helps maintain your body weight.
  • Engaging in dancing classes like Zumba, ballroom dancing, and Cha Cha improves balance and reduces the risk of falls. 
  • The release of happy chemicals like endorphins in the brain from dancing improves mood. 
  • Dancing breaks the ice and helps you socialize.
  • You can express yourself through your dance moves.
  • Dancing can ease feelings of anxiety and agitation.  
  • Fond memories can be evoked through dancing. 

#2 Owning a Pet

Older adults who own pets tend to be physically and mentally healthier. They get more exercise looking after their furry friends and taking them out for walks. Animal care also reduces stress and anxiety in older adults. 

People who feel lonely or have lost a loved one can gain companionship from a cat or a dog. A four-legged being around the house is more than a friend — it’s family.  

#3 Listening to Music 

There is more to listening to music than passing the time. Older adults can reap the following advantages of playing or listening to music:

  • Better sleep. 
  • Stronger language and speech.
  • Recall positive memories.
  • Improve memory processing.
  • Boost emotional healing.
  • Manage physical pain better. 
  • Slow cognitive decline.
  • Manage stress. 
  • Feel more creative. 

#4 Painting 

Art activities like painting, coloring, and sculpting have similar benefits for older adults. Older people who paint recreationally report better moods and less anxiety. Studies show that art therapy in older adults helps reduce depression, isolation, and cognitive decline. 

Older adults can also process trauma by expressing themselves through their art. Or they can evoke positive memories. 

#5 Lifelong Learning 

Lifelong learning is a relatively new concept for older adults. Lifelong learning isn’t just about taking a class or completing a degree as an older adult. It’s about learning any new skill through an activity. The philosophy behind lifelong learning is that you’re never too old to learn how to cook, take care of your garden, repair parts of your home, or understand new technology. 

With lifelong learning, older adults can improve their self-esteem, find fresh ways to socialize and strengthen their cognitive health. 

#6 Teaching

Older adults have a lifetime of skills to share. Even after retirement from their regular vocation, then can teach a course or mentor a younger person on the same career path as them. They can also volunteer their skills. Older adults who teach have higher self-esteem and gain opportunities to feel useful. Spending time teaching can also reduce loneliness. 

Dancing, listening to music, making art, taking care of a pet, teaching and learning may not seem like beneficial activities, but they significantly improve the emotional and physical well-being of older adults. So, get out of your comfort zone today and try something new!