Staying Active as a Senior

April 9, 2018

While old age may bring some changes in lifestyle for seniors, there’s no reason they can’t lead a fulfilling and active life similar to the ones they were accustomed to—even if mobility issues might hinder some of their physical functioning. Seniors can stay active regardless of whether they live at home or in a retirement community, as both settings can provide needed social stimulation. However, seniors will have to find some motivation on their own.

It’s important to be social and present for a number of reasons, especially as you age. There are benefits to your physical and mental well-being, which are always a focus in retirement. Here are some ways to start getting active today:

Exercise Regularly

Any amount or type of exercise is good, so long as you can get it at least semi-regularly. Everything from walking to biking and swimming to cardio and water aerobics is included. There’s no limit to what you can do with your exercise regimen; you can even find workout partners to join you. Say you’re a morning person and enjoy early walks; you might find another like-minded soul in a retirement community who would be more than eager to exercise together. Such opportunities highlight the dual positive effect that exercise can have on physical and mental health.


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Plan a Vacation

Now that you have the time, think about taking a trip somewhere — near or far. Perhaps there’s a part of the country you’ve never been to but have always wanted to see or a foreign destination you’ve had your heart on visiting. The golden years are called so for a reason, and you deserve to enjoy the time after a life of working and caring for your family. Americans are notorious for not taking advantage of vacation time when in the workforce, so there’s a good shot you’ve earned the leisure time.

The most important thing to decide on in vacation planning — other than where to go, of course — is how you’ll pay for it. Many seniors live on fixed incomes, so you must find the most cost-effective transportation, lodging, and sightseeing options. It may also help if you don’t have monthly property taxes or home maintenance expenses that can eat into savings.

Get a Pet

Companionship is beautiful, and it’s critical to ward off isolation in seniors who may have lost a spouse or are far from family. While there’s no substitute for a loved one, a man’s best friend, or even a cat, bird, or rabbit, can help provide at least some of that companionship seniors may be missing. Having a pet to care for can help seniors feel they have something to look forward to and manage daily. While puppies may be a handful, the right older dog can ease into your way of living.

Try out Social Media

Believe it or not, but social media can be fun for seniors, rather than the time suck such sites are sometimes made out to be. Having a profile to connect with neighbors who may have moved away or to share old photos with family helps fulfill some of the need for social engagement we need to live happy lives.

Plus, the possibilities for making sincere connections are endless. Consider the story of a 22-year-old rapper from New York and an 86-year-old retirement community resident who bonded while playing the famous online game Words With Friends. A year later, he traveled down the coast to Florida to make his internet friend a pal in real life. The bridging of cultural and distance gaps is what makes social media so valuable, and seniors should think about giving it a try.

Social media word blurbs


Join a book club or social group

Camaraderie is easy to find for seniors living in a community or at home; you need to look for chances to forge those relationships. Joining a group that gets together and discusses shared interests or partakes in a hobby can help connect you with new friends to meet, increase your skills or knowledge, and provide social stimulation that gets you out of bed and excited for the day’s events. Places to look at include community center bulletin boards or similar kiosks in senior living communities. Don’t be afraid to try something new; while you may have a side book club with old friends, maybe think about woodworking or an activity you’d never been partial to.

Find a Part-Time Job

If you’re looking to generate those extra savings for a vacation or some other purchase, try applying for part-time jobs if you can and can provide reliable transportation. The sharing and gig economy create plenty of opportunities for seniors to take advantage of. Those with cars who can drive safely (including at night) may want to think about becoming a ride-share driver if only for a few hours a day, to earn some added dollars and get out and about.


Giving back to your greater community always generates positive feelings, and volunteering can help improve your activity levels at the same time. Whether there’s a cause you’ve supported all your life or an awareness effort you’ve been sympathetic to before, taking the time to improve the lives of the disadvantaged or sick will help provide you with meaningful goals. Any amount of time you can devote to such causes will be well-spent, even if all you do is clean up around your apartment or home and donate goods like clothes that aren’t used anymore.

When considering whether to downsize your home entirely, talk to Edgewood Healthcare. We’re proud to operate senior living communities that provide residents with all the care and services they need and the opportunity for social interaction and engagement required to keep active in old age. Visit our page today.

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