Mobility issues can make everyday tasks more difficult. But they don’t have to get in the way of fun! Hobbies are an excellent way of relaxing, keeping the mind active, and getting some exercise. So, what hobbies can you do if you have limited mobility?
1. Reading as a hobby
If you’re not a self-proclaimed bookworm, the thought of curling up with a good novel might be alien to you. In fact, one of the best parts of taking up reading as a hobby is that there’s something for everyone. Sometimes, it’s just about finding a book that holds your attention.
You could start with an old favourite, pick a new author, or delve into non-fiction. For less avid readers, why not try a genre that you like watching on TV? Chances are, you’ll like it in print form too.
Another benefit of reading is that it can get you out and about. If you’re able to get there, borrowing books from a local library will give you a chance to stretch your legs. And it’s a much more cost-efficient way to take up a new hobby!
Alternatively, if you find reading strains your eyes, you might prefer to try an e-book. Although you don’t get the joy of holding a paper book in your hands, you can instantly download books and increase the font size so that it’s suitable for you. It also saves a lot of space around the house!
2. Learning a language
Research has shown that language learning is good for the brain. Some studies even suggest that it can delay the onset of dementia by up to five years. The idea of mastering an entire language can seem daunting. It’s best to break down learning into small, regular chunks. So, you can enjoy the experience without putting pressure on yourself.
Practising language skills from your own home can be a challenge. Luckily, most streaming services have foreign-language TV shows and films available on-demand from the UK. You could convince a friend to learn too and practice with each other over the phone.
Do you have an abundance of old photos in boxes? Or keepsakes stored away safely in hard-to-reach places? Learning how to scrapbook will help you display them beautifully. This way, you can easily look through your memories without rooting under the bed or in the attic.
Scrapbooking has been around for longer than you may think. In the 15th century, commonplace books were popular. These were journals for collecting information, letters, and even recipes. Similar types of journals appeared throughout the following centuries, including friendship books in the 16th century and even photo albums in the 19th century.
Today, scrapbooking is a popular hobby and many craft shops stock supplies. You will need some materials to get started. For example, the scrapbook itself, stationary, and any decorations or paper notes.
If scrapbooking gets your memory is flowing, you might also be interested in tracing your family tree. Modern technology has made finding your roots easier than ever. Chatting with your family is an excellent place to start while mapping out relationships and birth dates. Have a look at our article on tracing your family tree for more information.
Morag Cutts from Bramble Fox told Age Times: "Looking back on an old photo can bring back wonderful memories. Documenting those memories on a scrapbook page can bring them to life - something that can be passed on to those that follow.
"Pages can be created with little skill or equipment so everyone can enjoy the process of cutting and sticking. It’s a hobby that can be enjoyed from the kitchen table or shared with others too so it can be very sociable hobby too.
"It is a very supportive community - there are many online groups and local clubs where you can chat with others. Many friendships have been forged through this friendly hobby."
If you enjoy scrapbooking or tracing your family tree, we’d love to hear about it. Let us know how you’re getting on social media.
4. Bird watching
You don’t have to venture far to enjoy wildlife. If you’re not able to stroll around like you used to, you don’t have to forego nature altogether. A few well-placed birdfeeders, and a birdbath or bird box, will likely attract new visitors to your garden or patio.
Once they’ve established your garden has a good source of food, you should see you some regular faces, or beaks! Buying a bird book or looking online will help you to identify who’s flying around.
The RSPB (The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) has excellent resources for budding birdwatchers. This includes behaviour guides, ways to identify birds, and key equipment advice. They also organise a Big Garden Birdwatch from the 29th to 31st of January 2021. For this, they’re asking participants to spend an hour watching the birds from their garden, balcony, or local park.
Then, you let them know what you’ve seen by submitting your results online or sending a letter. Even if you don’t see anything, your report helps them to understand which birds visit which areas.
5. Adaptive sports and light exercise
The NHS website says that adults should be active every day to varying degrees, depending on age and ability. It's not always easy to find an exercise that’s suitable for specific mobility problems. If you’re not sure what you can do, your GP can advise you.
If your mobility problems aren’t too severe, you might enjoy adaptive sports or clubs for the over 50s. For example, the University of Worcester runs a senior engagement programme. This programme is full of sports adapted to those over 60, including a three-day competition that features “badminton, walking football, walking netball and adventurous outdoor activities”.
You might also find that sports such as golf, walking and light Pilates are beneficial for you. But this depends on your situation and current ability. To find out more about the benefits of exercise, look at our article on starting a new hobby.
The benefits of hobbies
Hobbies have been proven to help people mentally and physically. Whatever your interests and mobility levels, there is a hobby out there for you. From light exercise to learning a language, to crafts, the sooner you get started, the sooner you can reap the rewards! For more inspiration on finding the right hobby for you, have a look at our hobby pages.