Patt Osborne wasn’t happy with a quiet retirement life. The former teacher wasn’t ready to sit at home and knit, she wanted adventure. Patt imagined that there were others out there who wanted a little more excitement, no matter their age.

Patt founded Boomer Chick Adventures in New Jersey, a company that designs outdoor excursions tailored to inspire women in the baby boomer generation to get out and move. Though women and men of all ages are welcome, Patt felt it was important that women be encouraged to get outdoors as they age.  

“Being outdoors, whether in the woods, on a mountain peak, seaside, lakeside, or just reading on my deck, this is where I draw my strength and become energized,” Patt explains. The most popular events are hiking, kayaking and tubing, though the group has expanded to cultural events like tea ceremonies.

What can we learn from Patt and the Boomer Chick adventurers? That retirement is not the time to slow down, but the time to embrace new challenges and interests. It’s a time to learn new skills, enjoy physical activity and experience the world through travel and culture.

If you’re not sure how to start something new, look for a group like Patt’s that caters to older clientele. There are plenty of organizations that can help with travel, technology and learning, all tailored to senior clients. There are also a number of colleges that offer free classes that range from academic to artistic. If you’d like to spend your retirement learning, look here for the classes available in your state.

Don’t allow your retirement to be the end of your adventuring. Take a hike, learn a new language, or embrace another culture. Retirement is a time to expand your horizons, not shrink them.

 

Retirement doesn’t need to be a time for beach chairs and endless vacations. It can be, but many seniors are finding that they have time to discover their true passions once they bid work adieu. If you’ve always had a hidden hobby, retirement could be time to explore and share your interests with the world.

Robert Wittman made a career investigating art crimes and theft at the FBI. When he retired at 61, Wittman decided to use his decades of historic knowledge to open his own Art Appraisal and Investigation firm. Now, he chases art and history for fun around the world.

You don’t have to continue your career past retirement. You can also find ways to celebrate and explore your hobbies. Join a local crafting circle, offer knitting classes, work with a senior center to impart your technical knowledge to those who may need help. You may even offer up cooking classes, gardening workshops, or carpentry classes at a local community center, helping others to find a hobby they’ll cherish for years.

If you’re not sure what you want to do post-retirement, consider learning. Studies have proven that learning languages, physical skills, and interacting regularly with peers is an excellent way to maintain a health mind as you age. Have you always wanted to explore a subject and never had the time? Many community colleges offer seniors the chance to learn for free. Click here for a look at some resources near you.

Whether you’re looking to spread your knowledge and skills to others, or simply want to keep expanding your knowledge base, retirement offers you an excellent opportunity to spread your wings. Take your free time as a pass to expand your mind and your information base.

What are you doing to make sure you’re aging well? Most people watch their diet, visit their doctors more frequently, and try to exercise more. But is that enough to make your senior years successful?

A documentary, Alive Inside, argues that to truly age well, one needs the arts. The film explores the role music plays in memory, citing cases of patients with dementia and even seniors with typically failing memories suddenly being able to recall vivid scenes from their past with the aid of familiar music. The idea is this: Playing favorite or familiar music for a subject will help trigger vivid recollections, even if the subject’s brain isn’t functioning as it once did. This musical therapy has even inspired the Music and Memory Project, which funds iPods for seniors who can deeply benefit from enjoying music that meant so much to them long ago.

But music isn’t the only thing keeping seniors young at heart. Both the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Institute on Aging have programs that promote all forms of the arts to seniors. Whether painting, composing, dancing, or appreciating, an appetite for the arts seems to help seniors enjoy the aging process. Some seniors write novels or screenplays that a senior acting troop can bring to life. Some seniors paint abstract or classical art to decorate their rooms or local senior centers. The form of expression doesn’t seem to matter as long as something is being expressed creatively.

Some scientists believe that it’s not the art, but the social engagement that is critical to keeping seniors vital. But studies have shown that listening to familiar music, even without engaging with others, can improve memory.

So this weekend, why not plan to include a little art in your life? Catch a concert or go to the symphony with friends. Sign up for a painting class and learn a new technique. Or sit down and write out that story idea that’s buzzing around in your head. Expressing yourself creatively may be the key to keeping yourself happy as you age.

When we think of retirement, most people picture a life of ease: sipping cocktails by a beach, playing with grand-kids, or finally getting a chance to relax on the couch and catch up on your Netflix time. All of these activities can be great fun, but where’s the challenge?

For years, scientists have seen a link between engaging in enjoyable activities and maintaining a healthy brain. But could merely engaging in enjoyable activities be enough?

In a new study featured in Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience, researchers have found that the brain works best when it’s challenged. The study followed two groups of seniors: One group was assigned to socialize for 15 hours a week, engaging their peers, but learning no new skills. The other group was taught skills on a digital camera for 14 hours a week, taking on progressively more complex assignments. Scientists found that the group who spent their time actively learning new and challenging skills did better on cognitive tests.

Researchers are drawing links between strong neural pathways in the brain and cognitive challenges. This means that while chatting with friends might make you feel young, learning Russian could keep your brain young.

How do you challenge your brain? Scientists are still trying to determine what parts of learning preserve neural pathways, but they believe that increasingly difficult tasks are the best way to keep your brain healthy. Objectives like learning a language, developing a new craft, or memorizing a dance routine are good ways to engage your brain in active learning. Consider perusing the brochures for community college classes near you or check neighborhood bulletin boards to help you find an interest that will allow you to challenge your brain.

Whether you’re hoping to stave off memory loss or just want to spend retirement discovering all the things you didn’t have time for while you worked, the point is this: Learning isn’t always easy, but hard-won lessons impart precious knowledge as well as promote a healthy brain.  

Dealing with mobility issues on a daily basis can be a pain. Joints ache, balance wavers, and a nice, firm chair looks so much more inviting than a walk around the block. But if you want to feel better and reduce your arthritis pain, moving is the key.

A study presented at the American College of Rheumatology/Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals found that low-impact exercise helped seniors suffering with arthritis to improve their balance and decrease pain.

How? It’s all about the moves.

Participants took low-impact classes for an eight-week period, focusing not on sweating, but on movement. By the end of the period, 88% of the seniors could climb stairs more confidently, 66% felt better about carrying their groceries, and 91% felt the classes reduced their fatigue. The best part of the study is this: Ninety-six percent of the seniors who took the classes were then motivated to try other forms of exercise.

So what do these numbers mean for those who are having trouble with their joints? They mean that you don’t have to run a marathon to get fit. Tai chi classes or a simple walk can transform your life as you age. Sedentary seniors don’t need to jump right into intense exercise. Basic movement classes can dramatically transform your pain levels and improve your mental outlook.

At Capital City Nurses, we know it can be hard to move, especially with arthritis. If you need help with motivation, our Daughter Down The Street or Son Stopping By program can help you. An experienced companion can visit you as often as you’d like to inspire you to do simple exercises and encourage you to keep moving.

Seniors can have it tough when it comes to aches and pains, and exercising isn’t always fun. But with a commitment to some low-impact activity, you can greatly reduce your pain and improve your confidence in the physical world. Doesn’t that sound like fun?

Elderly people yoga lifestlye.Vector illustration

Dealing with mobility issues on a daily basis can be a pain. Joints ache, balance wavers, and a nice, firm chair looks so much more inviting than a walk around the block. But if you want to feel better and reduce your arthritis pain, moving is the key.

A study presented at the American College of Rheumatology/Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals found that low-impact exercise helped seniors suffering with arthritis to improve their balance and decrease pain.

How? It’s all about the moves.

Participants took low-impact classes for an eight-week period, focusing not on sweating, but on movement. By the end of the period, 88% of the seniors could climb stairs more confidently, 66% felt better about carrying their groceries, and 91% felt the classes reduced their fatigue. The best part of the study is this: Ninety-six percent of the seniors who took the classes were then motivated to try other forms of exercise.

So what do these numbers mean for those who are having trouble with their joints? They mean that you don’t have to run a marathon to get fit. Tai chi classes or a simple walk can transform your life as you age. Sedentary seniors don’t need to jump right into intense exercise. Basic movement classes can dramatically transform your pain levels and improve your mental outlook.

At Capital City Nurses, we know it can be hard to move, especially with arthritis. If you need help with motivation, our Daughter Down The Street or Son Stopping By program can help you. An experienced companion can visit you as often as you’d like to inspire you to do simple exercises and encourage you to keep moving.

Seniors can have it tough when it comes to aches and pains, and exercising isn’t always fun. But with a commitment to some low-impact activity, you can greatly reduce your pain and improve your confidence in the physical world. Doesn’t that sound like fun?