The New York Times recently published an article focusing on senior hockey players who compete in the annual Snoopy Senior hockey tournament in California. The tournament, founded by “Peanuts” creator Charles M. Schulz — a lifelong hockey enthusiast — draws hundreds of recreational players, all between 40 and 90 years old! Despite joint replacements, titanium hips, and the normal aches and pains that come with growing older, the senior players love the game. “It gave them a method and a reason to stave off the natural effects of aging,” noted the NYT article. Charles Schulz played hockey until his death, still deriving pleasure from the game even in his final years.
Hockey not your thing? American folk artist, Grandma Moses, didn’t begin painting until she was 78. Laura Ingalls Wilder didn’t start writing “Little House on the Prairie” until she was 65. Whatever your age, it is never too late to start a new hobby (or in the case of the hockey players, continue an old one), whether it’s a sport to keep your body active or a game to do the same for your mind. According to the National Institutes of Health, participating in hobbies and other social activities may lower risk for developing some health problems, including dementia, heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer. And people with hobbies and interests tend to be happier and less depressed, and live longer lives. So consider taking up a hobby (and no, it doesn’t have to be ice hockey.) Need some ideas? Check out this list of 50 Hobbies for Seniors.
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