There’s an old stereotype that getting older means sitting around doing nothing all day, especially after retirement. These days, however, that’s just not true! There are plenty of things you can do in your golden years, one of which is to learn a new craft.
Being creative and arty isn’t something you can only do as a young person. It doesn’t matter how old you are, there’s always time to learn a new craft. Not convinced? Here are our top six reasons to get started on a new hobby:
#1 – It can be a great social activity
“It doesn't matter how old you are, there's always time to learn a new craft. Not convinced? Here are our top six reasons to get started on a new hobby.”
A lot of people don’t see the point in learning something new if they will still end up at home on their own doing it. However, starting a hobby can be a fantastic way to meet new people and make friends, who you can then go along and practice with.
You’re going to have to learn your new craft somehow. You could stay at home and teach yourself from books or the internet, but where’s the fun in that? Instead, why not take a course? There will be plenty of people there who will socialise with you, helping you learn and making it a really fun activity!
Debbie France, one of the tutors at Kent Adult Education, sees this in a lot of the courses she teaches. People come along and bond with each other, making her courses “a great place to go and be with like-minded people”.
#2 – It’s a great way to energise yourself
If you settle for doing the same thing over and over again, you will quickly become lethargic. There is a reason people with hobbies are often active and enthusiastic. Keeping your mind engaged with something you enjoy will give you tons of healthy energy!
You might not end up running any marathons, but you’ll find you’re a lot more active while you’re in the process of learning a new hobby.
#3 – Fall back in love with learning
For a lot of our lives, we are forced to learn. We have to sit through nursery, school, college and university, so for many of us we are sick of learning by the time we hit our twenties. However, as you get older you begin to miss the days when you could improve your knowledge and learn new skills.
Ms France says that “you get to stages in your life where learning becomes something you want to do, to broaden your horizons”. Developing your skills with a course is a great way to do that in a fun way!
#4 – It actually makes you healthier
Learning a new skill gets you out of the house and socialising with other people, while keeping your own mind active (more on that later). These things don’t just make your life more enjoyable; they’re great for your physical health too!
This might seem crazy, but the University of Rochester Medical Centre has found that keeping mentally and socially active can reduce your blood pressure and lower the chance of you contracting rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, some forms of heart disease and even cancer! Turns out the secret to being super-healthy is to get out there and learn!
#5 – Give great gifts
Your new hobby doesn’t have to be just a way for you to spend time. You can take up something practical and end up with all sorts of goodies available that you have made yourself. These can be great presents for your friends and family.
It might seem cliched, but as an example you could take up knitting. This would let you create your own hats and scarves for your children and grandchildren, or any number of other presents. The same goes for other hobbies, so get out there and see what you can do!
#6 – It will actually boost your brain power!
You can make yourself smarter by taking a course as well! Researchers at Texas University found that learning a new craft improves long-term memory. Dr Denise Park, one of the academics involved, even thinks that “challenging mental activity slows the rate at which the brain ages”.
Meanwhile, researchers at Concordia University showed that learning lots of new, different skills “helps boost brainpower post-retirement”. This all shows how useful a new hobby can be!
If you are interested in learning a new skill, craft or other hobby, why not get in touch with Kent Adult Education? We have loads of different courses available in your area that will help you develop your skills in your golden years.Back to the Magazine