active agingJust because you’re getting a little older doesn’t mean you have to shut yourself away. Now that you’re retired (or soon to be), you need to find new ways to occupy your time to stay healthy and active. Consider the following ideas to live an independent, healthy and fulfilling lifestyle:

Find a Hobby

It’s time for you to find something you love doing. There are so many hobbies out there for you to try that you don’t have to limit yourself to just one. Try your hand at something artistic like drawing, painting, pottery or scrapbooking. Learn how to make fine cuisine, baked goods or candy. Join a bowling league, go golfing or find a hiking group. There’s no telling where you passions may lie, so don’t be afraid to try it all.

Get Physical

You may be worried about getting hurt or not being as nimble as you used to be. But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stay active and exercise. Talk to your doctor about a workout routine that suits your needs and don’t be afraid to try something new. For example, many seniors love golfing. Join a group of friends on the golf course to get some exercise and catch up with old friends. There also are plenty of Meetup groups for active seniors who like to go walking, running or hiking together. Your local senior center may even have sports teams you can join to get physical and meet new people.

Get a Job

Just because you’re retired doesn’t mean you can’t work anymore. A lot of retired seniors find that they get bored without a job or they want to make a little extra side money. Look for a part-time gig in an industry you love to keep you busy and independent. For example, you could join a company like Amway to sell health and beauty products and start your own mini business. Or you could join a freelance writing platform like Upwork to make a little extra cash. If you’re crafty and creative, make products to sell on Etsy or at craft fairs. You also can look for part-time work in an office, at retailers like The Home Depot or at a local restaurant or coffee shop.

Volunteer in the Community

Another way to stay healthy and active as you age is to get involved in your community. Find an organization you’re passionate about and volunteer your time, skills and resources to help them out. Hospitals, schools, soup kitchens and homeless shelters always need help from volunteers. You can go by yourself and meet other volunteers or gather a group of friends to have a volunteer day. If you’re not sure how you want to help, check out a site like Volunteermatch.org to find local organizations that could use your help.

Make New Friends

It can feel impossible to make new friends once you retire. Just because you’re not going into the office or following your kids around to their activities doesn’t mean you can’t meet new people, though. All of the above activities are great ways to meet new friends. The more you get out and are around people, the easier it will be to make new friends. Don’t be afraid to approach people and see if they want to meet for coffee or try a new activity with you. Who knows? You could find your new best friend to meet up with.

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