The devil will find work for idle hands, or so say the characters in the 1999 flick “Idle Hands“.
While we don’t know about the devil part, we do know that hobbies make lives a lot more fun – and even longer?
Yes, some of the best hobbies can prolong your life. Want to get some inspiration for what to do in your downtime? Read on below…
1. Learn an Instrument
Have you always wanted to learn to play the drums but your mom wouldn’t let you? Then you had kids and you realized why your mom didn’t want you banging the drums at all hours?
Well, hey, you’re an adult and now you can do what you want – including buying your own drum set – read more. And you won’t only be fulfilling a childhood dream. Learning a musical instrument is good for your brain and can even increase serotonin.
Talk about benefits! If those two weren’t enough for you, you should know that playing an instrument reduces stress, improves your memory capacity and makes you better at math.
Which one of us, in midlife, couldn’t use a memory boost?
2. Learn a Different Language
If you thought there were a lot of benefits to learning a musical instrument, prepare yourself. There are even more pros to learning a second language. Maybe you could combine the two and learn to sing opera in a different language? Just an idea.
Like musical instruments, learning a second language improves your memory. Some researchers even think it boosts your brain power overall – because it activates a not-often-used part of the brain.
It can improve your decision-making skills and even improve your native language. People who speak multiple languages keep their brain healthier for longer.
That means if you’re watching a parent go through memory or cognitive loss right now, you can prevent your children from having to go through that with you – just by learning some Spanish (or French).
If you’re tech-savvy, there are apps that help you learn and practice your new language. Try DuoLingo – it’s fun and friendly.
If you think the only benefit of fishing is fresh fish, you’re mistaken. It, too, has a long list of benefits to your general health.
Part of those benefits is the physical activity you get from walking around the boat, possibly rowing, and fighting with the fish. The other benefits come from simply being outside.
We’re not spending enough time outside anymore, as a species, and it’s affecting our mental health. Going fishing and patiently waiting in a serene environment is a form of meditation.
It has the same benefits of the meditation your hippie daughter is always trying to get you to do, but no woo-woo visualization stuff. Unless you visualize a fish biting your hook, which, hey, couldn’t hurt – right?
The benefits don’t end on the boat. That freshly caught fish that you stripped and cooked? It’s good for your health too. Eat up!
There’s something so beautiful about spending your time giving back to others. And in midlife, you may have more of that precious resource (time) than you ever did.
Why not use it to help out the needy? While we can’t promise there’s a chapter in your town – there is absolutely a charity for everyone’s passion.
From saving puppies to saving old historic trees, a few Google searches will help you find your organization of choice.
Choosing to give back, you guessed it, is good for you. It can actually help you live well, longer.
If you have the mobility and you live in a nice climate, you can get into golf. It’s never too late – you may simply have to pay for lessons. Or it’s likely that you have a friend who can take you out on the green and teach you some tips for free.
Either way, playing golf is good for the body and soul. Golf is a unique sport. At heart, it’s an individual game, but people do it in groups. Especially older people and rich businessmen making deals.
The benefits of playing golf are partly exposed to the great outdoors and physical activity. But you can also reduce your stress and anxiety, along with spending time with friends.
6. Knitting or Crocheting
Working with your hands is something a lot of us thought we’d do a lot more of when we grew up. But the reality is the most we do with our hands now (aside from household tasks) is typing on a keyboard.
Give your eyes a break from that glaring screen and learn a true handicraft – either knitting or crocheting. It’s trending with a lot of younger people nowadays, like this 11-year-old.
Knitting challenges your brain and can help prevent or reduce arthritis buildups. How? Fingers that are in motion tend to stay in motion – that’s just physics.
Plus, you can make cute things for your friends and family, even any grand fur-babies.
If you like getting your hands dirty and want to spend more time outdoors, gardening is like the holy grail of healthy hobbies. Not only will you grow fresh food, but you may just grow a fresh perspective.
Seriously, people who garden are happier and calmer in general – and their families are well fed.
Just make sure you do some prep work before you decide what plants you want to work with.
8. Collecting Something
What have you always loved? Maybe it’s owls or high-quality cigars. Now that you have both time and money, why not work on building up your collection.
If you work on getting rare items, you can keep them and sell them at a later date. Or you can leave your collection and it’s monetary value to a loved one in your will.
Just make sure your significant other is okay with coming up with some new storage solutions.
The Best Hobbies
We can suggest hobbies all day long, but if you’re not into what we suggest – it doesn’t matter. The best hobbies are the ones you pursue because you’re truly passionate about them.
We have an entire blog full of inspiration – start learning what you can do with your time here.