Active Aging Presented by Public Health Seattle-King County
You have decided to retire! Congratulations!
You may be thinking, “Now what?” That’s a perfectly natural response to this significant milestone in your life. Maybe you already know precisely how you’ll spend your newly found time. Or perhaps you need some downtime to consider all the options.
This list of activities will provide you with some ideas to bring your retirement to life! Reconnect with your passions, learn new skills, or devote your time to the people you love. And, of course, have fun! You’ve earned it.
Travel can be an exciting part of retirement with no limits on vacation time. The options are yours for the taking. Take a cruise to a new destination. Major cruise lines like Carnival and Royal Caribbean offer discounts for seniors.
Visit all the state parks across the U.S. with a National Parks & Federal Recreational Lands Senior Pass. With your own RV, you can check out these top-rated national parks on a budget. Never been to Europe, or has Alaska been on your bucket list? Time to start planning your dream retirement trip. And now you also have plenty of time to visit the grandkids no matter how far away they live!
Always wanted a college degree? Now might be a perfect time! Perhaps you are looking to learn more about something that fascinates you? Colleges nationwide offer courses for both degrees and recreational learners, some free and many with discounted tuition for seniors.
The Bernard Osher Foundation for lifelong learning offers inexpensive programs for learners over age 50 at many U.S. locations. There are over 400 programs specifically for adult learners, with many online classes available. And sites like Masterclass offer programs from wine tasting to writing, all taught by experts from around the world. You don’t even have to leave the comforts of your home!
Volunteering gives you a sense of purpose and a way to give back. Many national organizations have local chapters that enable you to volunteer right in your own backyard. Friends of the Library is an organization focusing on improving libraries and literacy, a perfect volunteer opportunity for bookworms. The General Federation of Women’s Clubs is an international organization dedicated to community improvement by enhancing the lives of others through volunteer service.
Have a passion for food? Meals on Wheels America is always looking for local volunteers to help prepare and deliver meals to shut-ins. Handy with nails and a hammer? Habitat for Humanity is building homes across the U.S. and worldwide, offering volunteer opportunities in construction and finishing work.
Crank Up the Music
Have you always wanted to play a musical instrument? Research shows that playing a musical instrument can slow and even reverse the effects of aging, especially hearing and memory. And music lessons can reduce stress, lessen boredom, and provide social opportunities with like-minded students. A study at Northwestern University showed that playing the piano helps build neural connections, improving memory and having long-lasting effects on the brain. Playing a musical instrument is an excellent way to stay mentally fit
Maybe it’s time to release your inner creativity! Try knitting, gardening, or pottery. Take an art or painting class. Sewing, cooking, and baking are also solid ways to relax. Get out that pile of old photographs and create the scrapbook you have always wanted. With over 200 locations for scrapbooking retreats, there’s no reason to wait.
Get Fit, Stay Fit
One of the best retirement activities is exercise. Low-impact sports have health benefits like improving flexibility, boosting your immune system, and keeping your heart and lungs healthy. Swimming, biking, and yoga are excellent ways to stay active. A fitness class at the gym is a good step in maintaining health and wellness and a fun chance to make new friends.
Golf has become one of the most popular activities among retirees. Over six million senior golfers now represent 26% of all golfers. But if you still have some pent-up competitive spirit, tennis, soccer, and basketball are just some of the many sports that offer adult competitive leagues throughout the county. Pickleball is also gaining popularity for seniors as a lower-impact alternative to tennis.
You have worked hard your whole life! With so many options, retirement can easily become the welcomed golden years you imagined. Make your retirement a time to live it up.
Active Aging is presented by Public Health- Seattle & King County. Public Health- Seattle & King County recognizes the important and untold stories of innovation, service, and sacrifice by the Black community and supports efforts to improve equity and achieve social justice. We want everyone to get health insurance and access health care. Visit www.kingcounty.gov/health for health insurance, flu and COVID-19 testing locations.