For many of us, fall is synonymous with the fresh start of a new school year and the satisfaction that comes from busy, productive days and learning new things.
That makes this a great time of year to break out of the monotony of stale routines, and that’s especially true for older adults. Consider the following ideas that can take you to the head of the class when it comes to your health and quality of life.
Use your wealth of experience, wisdom, and practical skills to benefit your community by volunteering for causes that are important to you. You’ll be helping yourself, too. Three-quarters of U.S. adults feel physically healthier by volunteering, according to the 2017 Doing Good is Good for You study from UnitedHealthcare and VolunteerMatch.
Pass it on through Play
Teaching a child a timeless activity or skill that you enjoyed in your youth – like fishing, checkers, or a card game – can be a great way to pass on traditions and have fun while also helping kids to cut down on time in front of a computer, tablet, or smartphone screen.
Put it on Your Schedule
You likely relied on a class schedule and student planner to help you stay accountable back in your school days. That same concept can keep you disciplined when it comes to staying active and getting enough exercise. Whether it’s gardening, attending an exercise class at your local gym, or just taking a regular bike ride or walk around your neighborhood, writing it on your calendar and planning your other activities around this time that you’ve carved out for exercise can be a good practice to ensure you don’t brush it off.
Head Back to Class
Even if it’s been decades since you’ve stepped foot in a classroom, it’s not too late to learn something new. Explore options such as signing up for a class at your local community college or brushing up on your computer skills at the library. In addition to keeping your mind active, you might also meet some new friends in this sort of group learning environment.
Chris Abbott is the CEO of UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement in Texas and Oklahoma.