Retirement is the perfect time to take up new hobbies, perhaps trying out something you’ve always liked the sound of but never had time for. The pandemic has meant that people have had even more time on their hands than usual. However, there are hundreds of different hobbies out there to try. In case you’re in need of some inspiration, we’ve put together a list of 10 of the most popular retirement hobbies.
1. Nordic walking
Created by Finnish skiers in the 1930s to keep them fit in the off-season, Nordic walking is a special walking technique that uses poles to support your muscles and provide a full-body workout. It’s increased greatly in popularity in recent years due to its health benefits, including being good for the heart, lungs and back. The proper Nordic walking technique should be learnt by a qualified instructor – you can find local classes here.
2. Online learning
You’re never too old to learn, and thanks to modern technology, these days you can do it from the comfort of your own home. Whether it’s a university course or just one-off workshops and talks, why not learn about something that’s always interested you but you haven’t had a chance to pursue?
3. Learning an instrument
Not only can learning an instrument be really enjoyable, it’s also good for your mind. It stimulates the brain and has been shown to improve memory, abstract reasoning skills and verbal & literacy skills.1 What’s more, many find that it’s relaxing and helps relieve stress.
Whether you’ve been inspired by the Great Pottery Throw Down or have always fancied giving ceramics a go, getting behind a pottery wheel is a great way to unleash your creativity and have some fun. Or if you’re not able to get to a pottery studio, you can buy air-dry clay and have a go at some hand-building.
Cycling boomed in popularity in 2020, as people sought new ways to exercise that didn’t involve attending a class or a gym. Cycling is a great hobby to get into, as it gives you a chance to get out in the fresh air and explore your local area. It’s also a great way to keep fit without putting pressure on your knees and ankles.
Painting is a popular hobby amongst pensioners who have a creative flair. With work no longer eating up your time, you can spend hours creating your next masterpiece. You might want to attend a class, or you could learn some of the basics though books or YouTube videos.
7. Cooking or baking
Whether for friends and family or just for yourself, baking and cooking are very enjoyable, therapeutic hobbies. There’s always something new to try – if you’re already an experienced cook, why not try getting into a new cuisine? Or if it’s baking you’re interested in, retirement gives you more time to create some fantastic showstoppers.
8. Learning a language
Much like learning an instrument, learning a language is also incredibly good for the brain – and it’s fun as well. As travel is another big hobby of those who are retired, you could prepare for your next trip by learning some of the local language. And you don’t have to commit to serious lessons if you don’t want to – there are plenty of resources out there for teaching yourself.
Gardening is a great hobby because it gives you a project to work on. Planning, planting and watching your garden take shape can be really rewarding. And of course, your hard work will pay off when you’re able to enjoy your garden in full bloom during the summer months.
Contrary to what you might believe, you don’t need loads of fancy equipment to start getting into photography. Modern smartphones have brilliant cameras, which is all you need to start taking some good snaps. Start by learning the basics of good photography, and if it’s something you really enjoy, you could start taking classes and invest in a professional camera.