Seniors, make your hobbies active-leisure

Joan Koczor

By Joan Koczor

Have you ever been asked if you have a hobby and thought, “good question”?

Maybe you like to watch TV or go online for the news or play a game. These “passive leisure” activities – time fillers – are OK temporarily but not as a steady diet.

With active leisure you lose yourself in a challenging project. You will notice how time flies when you are immersed in an activity you enjoy.

A hobby you love is more than a distraction. It’s a part of you, something you are energized by. A feeling of satisfaction when a project is completed. It can help you structure you time. Get your chores done, pay bills or other paperwork more quickly so you have time to enjoy your hobby.

There was a time when being an active senior included activities like board games, sewing and dining out with friends. Times have changed.

Looking for something rewarding? Consider volunteering. Many community programs and nonprofits require the help of senior volunteers who give their time to get things done.

Feeling creative? You may want to consider sketching or water coloring, sculpting or taking photographs. These hobbies can be for individual enjoyment, gift-giving or even extra income. Woodworking and carving help promoting nimble hands, relaxation and arm strength, as well as eye focus and mind activity. And learning to play an instrument could showcase a hidden talent.

Is sports your thing? You might consider swimming, golfing or dancing. In addition to being fun, playing sports can improve your coordination, balance and flexibility as well as boost your energy levels. Sports can also increase socialization.

When choosing a hobby think about what fits you. Think about something you enjoyed but stopped doing because life and its responsibilities got in the way.

Joan Koczor is a member of the Age-Friendly Maricopa Advisory Committee and a senior advocate.

This column appears in the April issue of InMaricopa.