For many people, retirement is the first opportunity they’ve had in decades to do whatever they want. If you’re new to retirement, all this free time can actually be quite daunting – especially when you don’t have much with which to occupy yourself. Reports suggest hobbies encourage good health and delay negative effects of ageing. That’s why retirement is the best time to pick up a new skill or hobby – here are our favourites for 2016.
1. Learn an instrument
Many of us have tried playing an instrument once in our lives, but it’s never too late to pick up the guitar, sit at the piano or bang the drums. These days, most instruments have easy-to-follow tabs online, which mean you don’t even have to know how to read music. You may be surprised to learn that Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles and Eric Clapton didn’t know how to read or write music when they first began playing, but that clearly didn’t stop them.
2. Join a gym
You may be thinking, “how can a gym be a hobby?” Today’s gyms aren’t just rows and rows of treadmills and dumbbells, they’re complete fitness centres with group classes for all fitness levels, nutrition experts, personal trainers and even spas. Going to a large gym or attending group sessions can be a great way to meet new people and increase your fitness.
3. Get out in the great outdoors
We’re lucky enough to live in one of the most beautiful countries on Earth, so why not get amongst it? Whether you live in the city or the countryside, there’s always beautiful sights to be seen, great walking routes and long winding roads to explore. If you’re fortunate enough to live near a national park or by the sea, take the opportunity to learn about your local area’s flora and fauna and get a better appreciation for the natural environment.
4. Say “bonjour” to a new language
Retirement is a time where many of us finally get to travel to the places we’ve dreamt of our whole lives. What better way to get in the mood for an upcoming overseas trip than to learn the local language? Even if you don’t have any travel plans, learning a language is a great way to keep your mind sharp. A study by York University has shown that picking up a second language may prevent Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
5. Colour yourself relaxed
In the last few years, adult colouring books have exploded in popularity worldwide. Forget your grandkid’s Winnie the Pooh colouring books – the adult versions contain pretty patterns, intricate designs and beautiful works of art. All you need is some coloured pencils and a colouring book, both of which are very easy to find pretty much anywhere these days. You mightn’t think you’ll enjoy it, but I can guarantee it’s a fun and relaxing way to pass the time.