Woodworking: A Great Retirement Hobby
By Robert Johnson
Do you feel like using your hands to create something useful and beautiful out of nothing? Is your mind itching for a challenge? Are you in need of a new hobby? Well, woodworking might just be for you!
Now, learning a new skill might not be a top priority once you reach retirement, but it does have nifty benefits especially when it concerns your health. You see, a hobby is not just there so that you have a thing to keep you preoccupied. If it is as good as woodworking, it covers more than just the pleasure you derive from the activity—there would also be positive effects in other aspects of your life.
Let’s take it one benefit at a time:
Woodworking will keep you social
Woodworking classes at your community would, at least. While the current technology affords one to use even just your mobile phone, search for courses through apps and learn at your own pace, for some, nothing quite beats being in an actual classroom. It’s better to use your phone to search for nearby organizations that offer woodworking classes!
For those who have fewer opportunities for interaction with other people, this is a good way to widen one’s social circle. Besides beginning the same hobby, friendships could be established by exploring other interests and experiences, and working together on a common goal, say, a community project. And that is a good thing for the mind: being social delays memory problems and cognitive illnesses.
And who knows, if your skills are up to par, your creations can make for great gifts to family and friends!
But if you’re not a beginner…
Volunteering for workshops can be great for your mental state
Not every senior who will be interested in the hobby will be a beginner. When you feel that the classes are not up to your level, you can offer to share your knowledge instead. Facilities can always use a little help from volunteers. Practicing something you are good at regularly contributes to happiness and satisfaction. Plus, it is always good for your self-esteem to feel that you are making a difference even in a very personal way.
Woodworking takes some physical exertion (and can come with some risk, which is why it is ideal for seniors to do it with other students), but it is worth the effort. The activity can be considered a low-impact exercise, so it does not have to be hard on the body. You can even be seated while working on your craft and you would still end up reaping some of the health benefits! That’s really something now, isn’t it?
But it’s not only the physique that becomes fit. The mind, too, can be in tip-top shape through woodworking. The aging brain has been associated with weak memory and general cognitive decline, but hobbies like woodworking can keep you sharp by always engaging it. Creating furniture, especially for the first time, can be challenging to the mind, and design can force one to be creative. This, and preventing dementia are proven by studies, the most recent of which perhaps is a Mayo Clinic research that found that the crafts decrease mild cognitive impairment by at least 45%.
So, there you have it, we have covered the basics of what could possibly draw you in with woodworking. Keeping an active social life, gaining satisfaction from the opportunity to share knowledge and help, and maintaining a fit body and mind are good enough reasons to reach out to your nearest center. In the end, you might actually go because of the potential for it to be a truly enjoyable experience. Don’t worry about the tools—you’ll learn everything you need there.