There is research that people who have hobbies are generally
healthier both mentally and physically. Don't have a hobby or
pastime? Hang in there, I'll give you some ideas and places to go
toward the end of this article.
The dictionary defines a hobby as an activity done regularly in one's leisure time for pleasure It's not something you have to do, but rather something you want to do. Michael Brickey, author of "Defy Aging," says that an ideal hobby would be one that serves three purposes: a diversion (escape from daily life), a passion (engage in something you love) and a creation of a sense of purpose.
What Are the Benefits?
Many of us lead a frenetic lifestyle - either at work or at home. A hobby allows us to "take a break". This is especially true if you have a scheduled pastime. Going bowling every Wednesday night or playing Pinochle on Saturdays gives us something to look forward to during the week. If you have a social hobby you can get even more benefit. We are social beings and interacting with one another is another great benefit. Mixing and networking with others can be a great source of news, information and
There are physical benefits to be had with hobbies. The pleasure and relaxation we get from these efforts can lower blood pleasure, reduce stress and provide other psychological benefits. Doing new things will also develop other parts of your brain and this can be crucially important as we age.
"I Don't Have the Time"
This may be the biggest impediment to having and enjoying a hobby. It does not have to be a problem. Scheduling is the most important step you can take. For some pastimes it is easier (Wednesday night bowling). For others you need to carve out some time and make the effort to keep on schedule. You will find that after a few repetitions it will become a habit.
Some hobbies can get expensive if you are not careful. Buying expensive equipment or buying expensive collectibles can quickly cost you more than time. If you need to buy equipment look for used items from friends, Craigslist or eBay. Once you know you truly need or want the more expensive items your money will then be better spent.
Let's not forget this other facet of a hobby. Perhaps you are into woodworking. After a while you get skilled at making pieces. It is not at all unreasonable to think about selling your work. This can make your hobby even more enjoyable (and you can then buy that really cool lathe you had your eye on).
Where Do I Begin?
Perhaps you would like to start a hobby or enjoy a new pastime. How do you get started?
No matter your interests you can find a hobby or pastime for your enjoyment. So follow an inspiration or an interest and pursue a hobby or pastime. You will benefit in many ways - not the least of which will be that you will enjoy life that much more.
Where Do I Go From Here?
Find your inspiration and learning at some of these locations. Please check for dates, times and fees.
Northampton Community College
This institution has perhaps the largest collection of classes aimed at those who want to a pastime or hobby. Classes span arts, crafts and hobbies. Some of their offerings are jewelry, painting, photography, pottery, cooking, canning, dance, tai chi, , music, sewing, woodworking, languages, travel, writing and many, many others. For more information go to
Lehigh Carbon Community College
Classes include computer training, cooking, chorale singing and fitness. For information go to: www.lccc.edu
Hanover Township Community Center
Art Workshops for Adults - 5-week workshops cover basics and allow students to progress at their own pace. Adult Dance, Basic Ballet and Jazz are available. Basic Computer Classes, Buying/Selling on Ebay, music lessons in beginner piano, woodwind, and brass. For more info: hanovercommunitycenter.com/
Lower Macungie Township
Dance - Ballroom or Latin Partner, Learn To Draw, Advanced Drawing Skills, Garden Club, Home Staging, Interior Design/Redesign 101, Pilates, Powerhouse Fitness Tai Chi, Walkercise, Yoga. For more info:
ArtsQuest has a long list of classes for adults as well as for children. Adult classes include drawing and painting, photography, ceramics, glass blowing and jewelry.
For more info: www.bananafactory.org/classes/
Woodcraft of Allentown
Woodcraft offers an extensive list of courses at all levels geared towards those interested in woodworking. A sample of the classes: tool sharpening, woodturning, cabinet construction, plate and bowl turning and hand-applied finishes.
For more info: www.woodcraft.com/stores/store.aspx?id=567
Baum School of Art
Baum offers classes in ceramics, computers, drawing, fashion, illustration, jewelry, painting, photography and sculpture.
More info: www.baumschool.org/class-schedules-main.php
Lehigh Valley Active Life (formerly Lehigh Valley Senior Center)
The center offers a wide range of activities and classes. A sampling:
Cooking, computer training, IPad classes, painting, arts and crafts, dance, fitness, yoga, tai chi, aerobics, car games including bridge and pinochle, quilting, history, music, chorus and jazz. For more info: www.lehighseniors.org/
For more information, contact:
Lifestyles over 50
4847 Hamilton Boulevard
Allentown, PA 18106