Active Hobbies Over 50

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Active Hobbies Over 50
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Just because you're over 50, doesn't mean you have to slow down. On the contrary, you can stay active and have fun doing so. By participating in a favorite hobby — or developing a new one — you can enjoy the company of others (or not) while maintaining a healthy lifestyle. After all, age is just a number.

Take to the Trails
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Take to the Trails

It's a well-known fact that walking is a great way to stay fit. Take that to the next level and start hiking. "Hiking is a fantastic way to get in shape or stay in shape, enjoy nature, and meet friends," says Carol Meerschaert, MBA, RD, director of marketing and communications for the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association in Paoli, Penn. Grab a friend or look for a hiking club in your area, set out on a community trail or explore a nearby state park.

Lend a Helping Hand
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Lend a Helping Hand

Giving back your time and talent goes a long way in keeping you active and healthy. Through volunteer work, you can use the skills you enjoy as well as learn new skills, make new friends, and learn new communication methods, according to Janine Boulad, manager of volunteer services for Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital in Baltimore, Md. Volunteering also can help increase self-confidence and provide opportunities to have fun, plus volunteers enjoy the satisfaction of helping others, she says.

Play in the Dirt
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Play in the Dirt

Another great hobby to keep you active, gardening has many benefits for adults age 50 and older. Although most people usually are not aware of it, they actually perform many exercises when gardening. For example, when bending over to pull weeds, you inadvertently do leg squats, says Aneil Koerper, health and fitness director for The Terraces of Phoenix, a continuing care retirement community in Phoenix, Ariz. "It also helps to boost your mood by working outdoors," she adds.

Go to the Birds
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Go to the Birds

Stay active in the great outdoors by grabbing your binoculars and heading outside to check out some feathered friends. Check the local chapter of the National Audubon Society for a birdwatching group in your area, recommends Jill Nelson, R.N., B.C., director of Gottlieb Adult Day Center at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital (part of Loyola University Health System), in Maywood, Ill. Not only will you see some beautiful creatures, but you'll also get some exercise as you track them through the woods.

Be a Good Sport
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Be a Good Sport

By definition, playing sports will get you up and moving. Therefore, choose one you truly enjoy or pick up a new one you've always wanted to learn. Whether it's golf, basketball, tennis, softball, bowling or something else, sports will help improve your hand-eye coordination, improve your balance and provide a good cardiovascular workout. Of course, a little healthy competition never hurts, either.

Expand Your Mind
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Expand Your Mind

Learning something new does wonders for your brain fitness, Koerper says. Whether it's a new language, musical instrument or dance, you not only strengthen your mental abilities, but you also get the joy and satisfaction of learning a new skill. Nelson also recommends auditing a class at the local university — perhaps taking that art history or computer class you've always wanted to do but never found the time to schedule.

Join the Gym
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Join the Gym

Exercise classes obviously will keep you active; however, they're also a great way to spend time with friends and make new ones. Both the workout and the socialization will go a long way in keeping you active. Plus, with such a variety in class offerings today, you're no longer relegated to a basic aerobics class. There's Zumba, Pilates, yoga and more to get you up and moving.

Share a Love of Music
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Share a Love of Music

If you love to sing, put that talent to good use. Form your own singing group, or check your community for active singing groups looking for more members. As Nelson points out, there are many organizations like churches, community centers, nursing homes, hospitals and others that want and need entertainment. You can live out your dream of being a famous singer right in your own town.

Rack Up the Miles
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Rack Up the Miles

From a leisurely ride through your neighborhood to an aggressive trek along a mountain trail, biking gets you up and on the move. And with biking, you have the option of going it alone or joining a group of friends as you enjoy a bit of Mother Nature. For diehard bikers, you even can take part in organized bike rides in and around your community.

Hit the Road
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Hit the Road

Whether it's across the country or around the globe, exploring the world we live in does wonders for the mind and body. The excitement of seeing a new place and the joy at learning more about another culture can't compare to just reading about it in a book or magazine. Plus, as Nelson points out, travel is a great way to make new friends.

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