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Keeping Active at Home

A mexican family playing a game after dinner.

Keeping your mind and body active is important at any age. It seems especially important now during a time when socialization and in-person communication is at a virtual standstill. People, especially members of the senior population, may feel a sense of boredom and isolation because it seems as though the only way to maintain one's health and safety is to stay home alone with limited contact with the outside world. Being “trapped” at home with nothing to do can be stressful and, while a quarantine haircut may seem like the only viable option, there are other alternatives to adding a sense of novelty to your life. 

Yoga might seem like something that’s geared towards a more youthful lifestyle filled with flowy tops and pants, acai bowls, and chai lattes (or vitamin water if you’re trying to eliminate caffeine). However, yoga is a great way to boost your mood, reduce stress, and improve coordination and spatial awareness. Traditional yoga may appear to be slightly out of reach for the older population due to all the tricky poses and body manipulation, but there are ways to modify the trend to make it more accessible to those of us with somewhat limited mobility. Chair yoga has become very popular with the senior population. It’s a gentler form of yoga that can be done while being completely seated or while using a chair for support. It’s also extremely versatile and can be practiced anywhere you can find a chair to sit in. It’s a wonderful hobby that is great for both the mind and the body. Are you experiencing joint pain or recovering from a recent injury? Chair yoga might be for you. It’s extremely beneficial for improving coordination and preventing potential falls while also relieving pain by relaxing the mind and shifting your attention to focus on other things like body and spatial awareness.

Joining a book club is another fun way to stay engaged and keep your mind occupied, especially if you already enjoy reading. Book clubs are becoming increasingly popular these days since people are home more and have the extra time to dedicate to reading that book that seems to have been sitting on their coffee table for ages. Book clubs are an amazing way to safely meet new people with common interests. It also encourages discussions about various topics and themes within the books you already love or have yet to be introduced to. Reading will also keep your mind sharp and active. There’s nothing to lose!

If you’re looking for something a little more active or want to spend more time with others, why not try playing a few new games? Many games have transitioned towards being played online which is amazing considering that communication has shifted to a more virtual platform. Board games used to be something that was only played in person at a table with friends or family. Now, we can break out the Monopoly board on our phones or tablets and play with different friends and family members all over the country. There are also games like Wii sports that are pretty popular as well. You can play tennis or baseball or even go bowling all in your living room. App and web-based games allow us to play alongside the people we care about most, making us feel closer to those we love when they might be farther away.

These are just a few examples of the many things you can do that will not only occupy the extra time that you might have on your hands, but also has a wide range of mental and physical health benefits. Take up chair yoga, join a book club, or explore the world of online and app-based gaming. You could even go back to school or take a few classes that interest you because you’re never too old to learn something new. Do some community service or start that garden you’ve always wanted in your front or back yard. The world is full of amazing opportunities to make your life just a little bit more fun and exciting. As Dr. Seuss once said, “If you never did you should. These things are fun and fun is good.”