The Benefits of Social Activities for Seniors
You already know that staying physically active in your autumn years offers a variety of health benefits, like lessening chronic pain, delaying and preventing certain diseases, and helping you recover faster from an illness or injury. And, while exercise is extremely important for a high quality of life, the connections you make with others and the relationships you continue to build also have a major impact on your overall wellness.
Studies show that seniors who stay socially active and engaged experience a variety of benefits, including:
- Better cognitive function. Social activities keep us sharp and mentally engaged, and this is important to prevent the onset of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
- Maintaining good emotional health. Connecting with others helps keep you in a positive mood, which in turn wards off depression.
- Improving physical health. Socially active seniors tend to be more physically active, too. Plus, you tend to eat more and make better food choices when you eat with others.
- Boosted immune system. Studies show that seniors who stay engaged with others, and life around them, have higher levels of immune-system functioning.
- Enjoying restful sleep. If you have difficulty sleeping at night, it could be that you’re feeling isolated and lonely. Research shows that people who have more fulfilling relationships in their lives tend to sleep better than those who don’t.
- Increased longevity. Live a longer, happier life by keeping your social circle strong. Friends and loved ones help you deal with life’s daily stresses, and are often key to encouraging you to live a healthier lifestyle, too.
Activities to Keep You Engaged and Socially Active
In addition to the health benefits above, staying connected with others helps give you a sense of purpose and a true sense of belonging. What are some ways to get involved with your peers? Here are just a few suggestions:
- Join a club or group. Think about activities that interest you. Do you like gardening? Golfing? Reading? Meeting up with others on a regular basis is a great way to meet new people and enjoy experiences with those who share your interests.
- Take up volunteering. Volunteering is a great way to make use of existing stills and learn new ones. Giving back to your community and helping others is a rewarding experience and an opportunity to make new friends.
- Enjoy lifelong learning opportunities. Many colleges or adult education centers provide classes designed specifically for seniors where you can continue to learn new things and expand your mind.
- Join a senior fitness center. If a regular gym seems too intimidating, consider trying out a fitness center specifically for the older generation. You’ll meet other active seniors who are looking to stay healthy and physically fit.
- Reach out to family. When you’ve got free time, offer to babysit grand kids or take a loved one out to lunch. These are great ways to maintain those familial relationships and stay involved in the lives of those who mean the most to you.
- Try out new technology. Do not be afraid of those computers and tablets! They provide the perfect way for you to connect via social media, email or Skype with friends or family who don’t live nearby.
Below are some links to senior activities and ideas to aging well, in the Region of Peel.