Engage at Every Age
You are never too old (or young) to take part in activities that enrich your physical, mental and emotional well-being. No matter your age, there is no better time than now to start.
To help do just that, consider these tips from the Administration for Community Living:
- If you don’t usually exercise, choose a low-impact activity that you can do a little at a time. Walk for 10 minutes in the morning, sign up for a tai chi class or learn gentle stretches, for example. Remember, it is wise to consult a health care provider before beginning an exercise routine.
- Exercising is less of a chore when you do it with people you enjoy. Gather a group of friends or join a class. Some senior and community centers even offer free or low-cost options.
- Good nutrition is vital. Keep an honest record of what you eat. If you have a condition like diabetes, consult your doctor before changing your diet. Nutritionists can be excellent resources, whether you have special dietary needs or not.
- Eating healthy foods and staying active may reduce physical health risks, and you also can exercise your mind by reading, playing games, taking a class or simply being social.
- Second or even third careers can be personally and financially rewarding. Determine whether you have the skills needed for something new. If not, seek out classes or training, and remember to ask whether financial assistance is available.
- Express yourself through the arts. Learn to paint or draw, dust off those dancing shoes, take an acting class or finally write that novel. As a bonus, studies show the arts can improve brain health.
- Keep expanding your knowledge and growing by learning a new language or taking a computer class. Or, if you’re more an adventurous type, maybe you’ve always wanted to travel and discover other cultures.
- Consider using your experience to serve others. Volunteers meet a range of community needs, from mentoring at-risk youth and providing job training to helping families recover from disasters. Find opportunities by visiting local organizations or charities.
- Pick and schedule service activities that match your skills and interests. If you are handy, assisting with a nonprofit housing organization may be most rewarding. If you enjoy working with kids, contact a local school to talk about ways you can help.
- If you want to help others more informally, consider helpful tasks like driving neighbors to appointments, babysitting for working parents or tutoring kids in your neighborhood. If you are a member of a spiritual community or club, ask if there are outreach programs that need assistance.
Increasing your well-being – physically, mentally and emotionally – can be made simpler by finding activities that fit your personality and interests. Visit oam.acl.gov to find more information and resources to engage at every age.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (couple walking)
Administration for Community Living