Ah, summertime! The weather’s finally warmed up, winter’s hazardous driving is a distant memory, and for many seniors, the urge is growing to get up, get out, and do something. But what?
Here are 10 great summertime activities and jobs that are perfect for keeping seniors active and in touch with interesting people and things:
1. Take in a park, museum, or outdoor cultural event
Summer is a great time to visit your favorite museum –especially if the weather’s too hot to spend much time outdoors. Many museums have interesting exhibits, classes, and events to lure people in during the summer. Weather too nice to be indoors? Visit a nearby state or local park for some trail walking, birdwatching, and other fun, relaxing activities. Want someone else to provide the entertainment? Many cities and towns have outdoor concerts and theater-in-the-park type events in the summer months, many free or low cost.
2. Join a senior center
Many centers offer indoor exercise classes specifically designed for seniors, so you won’t feel left behind. Classes often vary in intensity, too, with some centers even offering classes specifically geared towards people who have trouble standing or walking.
3. Coach a team
This one’s for the kid in all of us. While there are usually plenty of unpaid volunteer opportunities, some coaching jobs actually pay money. Check into a coach, referee, umpire or scorekeeper post in high school programs, or various youth and amateur leagues. Travel is usually part of the job, but it’s probably a scoot across town.
4. Take up gardening
Many people don’t think about gardening as a physical activity, but it requires a lot of movement and burns more calories than you realize. If you don’t have a backyard, you can look into helping out at a local community garden, or join a gardening club.
5. Join a golf club
Golfing is a light physical activity that’s safe for most seniors, though during the summer months you may want to sign up for an early morning game. It’s also a great way to help you stay active mentally.
6. Become a summer school teacher or teacher’s aide
Lots of communities offer summer school programs to help students catch up or get ahead in their studies. If you’re a retired teacher or have specific valuable skills or knowledge that you’d like to share, check with your local school department or community college for opportunities.
7. Sign up for water aerobics
Many communities and organizations such as the Y have pools that provide seniors with low-cost ways to get exercise. Not sure what to do once you get in the water? One of the best exercise routines for seniors is low-impact water aerobics. You may be surprised by how easy it is to find a class near you.
8. Become a tour guide
Imagine steering a group of curious tourists around nearby places of interest on a sunny summer day. That’s particularly fun if you’re a history buff and have a knack for storytelling and showmanship. You need to have a mind for remembering dates and historical facts. You also must interact easily with everyone — from excitable school kids on a field trip to seniors hailing from all over the globe. Tour guide jobs pop up in various places that attract visitors.
9. Take up blogging
Do you have an interesting hobby, skill, or knowledge? Blogging is a terrific way to share your thoughts and ideas while honing your writing skills. There are lots of apps and online support to help you get started.
10. Volunteer to fill a community need
Summer is a great time to look for ways to get out and give back to your community. Try your church, local parks and recreation department, town hall, or senior center for ideas.
Regardless of what you end up doing this summer, if you spend any amount of time outdoors, remember your sunscreen and insect repellent. And stay hydrated to stay healthy!