When we begin to transition into retirement, we start to win back a lot of the time that we’d previously dedicated to working. Filling this newly-released time with constructive, stress-relieving activities and hobbies is crucial if we’re to keep our heads up.
Men over fifty, in particular, have special needs when it comes to hobbies, especially when it comes to maintaining health, fitness, and mental sharpness into old age. In this article, we’ll go over some of the best hobbies for men over 50 that can keep them healthy, happy, and entertained for years to come.
Grilling is a popular hobby for men of all ages, and this doesn’t change for those over fifty. On the contrary, grilling skill seems to develop and improve with age, and by the time men reach fifty, they’ve often become veritable grill-masters. However, grilling can be tough because it’s not feasible for only feeding one person.
If a man hopes to grill consistently, he should have a family to feed. If this isn’t possible, then planning get-togethers with friends complete with a cookout is the next best solution. Investing in an electric grill or something small enough for one person is an option, too.
Grilling doubles both as a hobby that senior men can take pride in and one that improves their health. Meats, vegetables, bread, seafood, and even some fruits are grillable, meaning that, if you wanted to, you could survive almost exclusively on grilled foods. Grilling can be used as an excellent way to plan your meals carefully and cook them in a way that everyone will enjoy.
Fishing is an excellent habit for men over fifty that combines relaxation and tranquility with minor physical activity. Fishing is an extremely flexible sport, and as such, it can take many forms, such as:
- Fly fishing
- Ocean fishing
- Freshwater fishing
- Net fishing
Most of us live acceptably close to a body of water with living fish in it. Whether this is an artificially stocked river, a large lake, or the ocean itself, there are hundreds of different ways to spend a morning fishing on the water. Not only does fishing provide a near-meditative experience much of the time, but it gets you into the outdoors and even provides a source of healthy, fresh food.
Anyone who has eaten their own fishing catch knows that there’s little that compares to freshly-caught fish. They seem to taste much better when you’re the one who caught them, too! While fishing can be an expensive hobby, especially if you decide to invest in a boat and high-level gear, the tranquility of the experience and the catch of the day make it worthwhile!
Fishing provides an excellent means to bond with friends, coworkers, and family members, too. This is especially true for men over fifty with young or teenage sons (or daughters!). There is nothing better than spending a day out on the water with your child, all while passing on your fishing wisdom to the next generation.
Chess is a classic game of strategy and logic that many people enjoy. While chess isn’t enjoyable for everyone, it has quite a lot of merit as a fifty-and-up hobby because of the way it stimulates the mind. While chess is beneficial to the brain at any age, it’s especially useful to men over fifty. This is because brain-exercising games like chess help to keep the mind sharp and alert into old age.
Think of your brain as a muscle for a minute. If you make sure to exercise your brain regularly, it will stay healthy and fit, and it will even function better over time. However, if you neglect to stimulate your mind, it will lose function and flexibility just as any other muscle would. Your brain is as capable of getting “out of shape” as the rest of your body.
As our bodies and brains age, keeping our brains well-exercised becomes doubly important. While we can’t always stop the effects of aging, science tells us that stimulating your brain in old age can help with staving off some age-related brain diseases such as dementia. Stimulating activities like chess can help improve memory and overall mental health as we age, too.
Many men enjoy working with their hands, and men over fifty are no exception. While there are many ways to do this, woodworking is an excellent choice for older men because it requires a bit of a time investment. While it’s perfectly acceptable to do carpentry in stages if you have a busy schedule, men who are transitioning into retirement have much more time to devote to the activity, and thus, they can complete their projects much faster.
Mainly, carpentry involves turning wood into furniture, decorations, or functional items like birdhouses. Since carpentry frequently falls into the realm of art as well as function, it’s something that you can teach yourself and learn at your own pace, too. In that same vein, carpentry fulfills both the desire to create something and the desire to express yourself.
Golf is an overwhelmingly popular pastime for men over fifty, and younger men (and women!) are sometimes attracted to the sport, too. As we get older and start to lose some of the flexibility and athleticism in our bodies, it becomes difficult to play fast-paced sports like football or basketball. Golf, however, offers exercise in either a social or a solo setting in addition to moderate, low-impact exercise and mental stimulation.
If you’re able to enjoy the sport, golf does have it all. However, that seems to be the catch: golf tends to be a sport that people (men included) either love or hate. For some people, it is too slow-paced to engage their minds and keep them occupied, but for others, it’s the perfect combination of physical exertion and meditation.
If you’re not the type of man to enjoy regular golf, there are some alternatives you can try, as well – especially if you’re looking to involve your kids! Consider trying the following:
- Putt-putt golf (or mini-golf)
- Speed golf
- Disc golf
- Beach golf
Gardening and Farming
While we’re on the topic of grilling and catching your food, gardening is an excellent way to supplement your diet with home-grown, healthy fruits and vegetables. If you have an abundance of free time, you can even take a risk and start a full-blown farm complete with crops and livestock. Not only does this supplement your diet (and sometimes your income, too!), but it also offers an excellent way to spend excess time.
Farms and gardens can be a lot of work. Because of this, anything large-scale should be avoided unless you’re willing to devote a significant portion of your time to it. Gardens require weeding, fertilizing, watering, pruning, and harvesting, and any farm animals that you adopt will need food, shelter, and care. However, the potential exists for significant returns on those investments both from a financial sense and an emotional sense.
Farming and gardening are also both very activity-intensive hobbies to keep. While they’re excellent for keeping your mind and body in shape, they may be too much for men over fifty with mobility issues or back problems. Bending over in a garden for long periods, in particular, might be too hard on some men to be a possibility.
Biking is another low-impact activity that men over fifty enjoy. Because biking is primarily a continuous pedaling motion, the jarring effect on one’s joints and limbs is very minimal. This means less soreness for the individual, as well as the ability to go a bit further than you might be able to with a more jarring exercise.
Unfortunately, biking as a hobby can be tough in some areas. Biking is a good hobby to have if you live in the city or the country, but there’s an area right in between the two that’s largely unsuitable for bike enthusiasts (unless your city has invested in bike paths). Usually, the people who have trouble with biking live on busy streets and don’t live close to nature trails or other bike-friendly areas.
Biking is also more friendly to those in warm climates than any others. While biking during the winter is entirely possible, it’s more common to find dedicated bike paths in temperate regions where bike riders are more common. Similarly, if you live in a city without bike paths, a sidewalk may suffice as long as it’s not too congested with pedestrians.
While biking can be exclusively a hobby, it’s also uniquely suited to be a method of transportation. This makes it unique among the other hobbies we list because it provides both an excellent way to spend your free time and an alternate means of commuting to work. As we said, not everyone will be able to take advantage of this, but the important thing is that the potential exists in the first place.
It’s also important to note that biking can be a dangerous hobby. If you ride in areas with lots of cars, that poses a clear danger, and there’s always the chance of part failure or user error, too. Moving quickly on a bicycle and hitting a rock or losing control can promptly result in injury, especially for older adults or those wearing insufficient safety gear.
Swimming is another low-impact exercise option for men over fifty, and it’s a bit more accessible than cycling, too. Since all you need to go swimming is a pool or a lake, just about everyone can swim in their off-time. However, the main difference between swimming and biking is that barring the upfront cost of the bicycle; swimming is much more expensive in the long run than biking.
While swimming at a lake or beach can sometimes be free, some private lakes and parks do charge a fee. Almost any pool will have a cost associated with its use unless you own the pool yourself or have access to it as part of your housing setup.
Because water is much denser than air, it floats and buoys our bodies while they’re in the water. Just like with biking, there is minimal impact on our joints while swimming, so it’s an excellent hobby as well as exercise for older men with arthritis or other physical limitations.
Most men over fifty are starting to get ready for retirement if they haven’t retired already. This means being more careful with finances, working fewer hours, and strategically placing money in retirement accounts. Well, if you’re savvy with your money, this is also a time where you can start looking to grow your wealth through investments.
Investing is a bit of a risky practice, unfortunately. However, nowadays, virtual assistants for helping with investing are everywhere. Some companies and applications will even create a portfolio for you and handle the entire process.
Many men enjoy the rush of danger that comes along with risky investments. However, you can just as quickly end up burned from an investment gone wrong as you can have a good investment day. However, some forms of investing are more stable than others, while others are less stable but have a higher payout. Before making a decision, make sure you explore all of your options, such as:
- Stock investing
- Day trading
- Mutual funds
While the automobile industry is seeing increasing interest from women as the years go on, it’s still a male-dominated and male-fascinated industry. This means that men over fifty are far more likely to be interested in automobiles than women in the same age bracket. There is nothing inherently wrong with this, but it does mean that automobile tinkering, fixing, and owning are very popular hobbies among men of all ages.
Automobile fanaticism is especially appropriate for older men because younger ones often can’t afford to purchase their dream car and don’t have the time to build it from parts. A fifty-something man transitioning into retirement, though, will have both the time and the money to develop and enjoy antique automobiles.
Hiking is an excellent hobby for men over fifty who have a love of the outdoors. Hiking is still a relatively low-impact activity (depending on the difficulty of the trails you choose), though it’s not quite as gentle as, say, swimming. However, unlike swimming, it provides excellent opportunities to be out in the wilderness and see new things.
For many who like hiking, they feel a sort of therapeutic effect from the whole experience. While your body is exercising, your mind is busy taking in everything about nature around you, and the result ends up being similar to meditation. Hiking is also an activity that’s very easy to do with other people, and dogs are excellent partners to go hiking with, too.
In the same vein as golf, bowling is another low-impact sports activity that can be done either solo or with friends. While bowling is a bit less meditative than golf – you’re not out in nature, for example – it still provides exercise to both the mind and body. Just like math, bowling involves many variables, and for an experienced bowler, a lot of mental calculations and body control.
Bowling is a standout entry on this hobby list because it’s an excellent activity for the whole family to enjoy. While some kids might be able to enjoy golf, especially older ones, there are very few children who will turn down a trip to the bowling alley!
While it’s possible to bowl on your own, especially if you’re honing your skills, bowling is meant to be a competition against other bowlers. As such, bowling becomes an excellent way to meet other like-minded people and spend time with them, too. Men can even think about joining a bowling club to facilitate meet-ups with new friends!
Marksmanship and Hunting
Men have long held a fascination with guns, bows, and other similar implements, and taking trips to the range to put these items to use is an excellent way to blow off some steam, de-stress, and get out and about. Marksmanship has also been shown to improve concentration and focus, so it’s a great way to calm yourself and re-center when you’re feeling on-edge.
The next step above marksmanship, though, is actual hunting! While your ability to hunt is limited by the seasons in which your prey are killable, it’s an excellent hobby to plan for at the beginning of the year. Hunting is a great way to put healthy, preservative-free food on the table, and it can even be argued that wild animal hunting is more ethical than the way domesticated meat animals are raised in many situations.
If you’re a man over fifty who can’t stomach hunting or who abstains from it for personal reasons, that’s perfectly fine! However, it could be that you just haven’t found the right type of hunting for you yet. Hunting comes in many shapes and forms, so if you have a favorite meat or game type, you can always target that. Some examples of the different hunting types include:
- Bird hunting (ducks, geese, quail, turkey)
- Big game hunting (deer, elk, moose, bear, alligator)
- Small game hunting (rabbit, squirrel, weasel)
- Invasive species hunting(pig, nutria, Asian carp, etc.)
The act of camping is an excellent way to get back to nature, spend some time reflecting, and slow down away from it all. As a bonus, camping is very easy to combine with other habits for men over fifty, such as hiking, hunting, or fishing. A short trip out to the wilderness to get away from the city is an excellent way to reduce stress and get a change of scenery.
However, camping isn’t necessarily comfortable for an aging adult’s body. In particular, sleeping in tents with only sleeping bags can be unbearable, causing muscle and joint soreness. If you’re a man over fifty who’s prone to these issues, you might want to look into camping out in a lodge or cabin instead of a tent. While this may take some of the authenticity out of the experience, it won’t take any of the fun!
There is always a need for men who can direct and coach young children in school. If you have excellent leadership skills, enjoy working with children, and have a strong understanding of sports and strategy, coaching may be just the hobby for you. Coaching is undoubtedly not for everyone, though – a coach must be conscientious about nurturing and teaching his charges rather than being hard on them as they grow and develop.
Being a coach is an excellent hobby because it makes a big difference in children’s lives. Playing sports helps children grow and mature more than just physically; being a team player helps them to develop mentally and emotionally, too. Being on a sports team is arguably a vital milestone for children, regardless of what that sport is.
Of course, there are many different sports that you can coach, so as long as the school or club in question offers that sport, it’s an option! Some options you might have access to include:
Everyone should make time to give back to their community in any way they can, and men over fifty are no exception. If you’re able-bodied, you can consider volunteering at a nonprofit facility in your town, joining in county trash pickup initiatives, or lending your aid at city-wide events. If you’re not able to do these things, you can always show your support on social media or donate to a good cause instead.
Giving back to our community and the people who we’re thankful for makes us feel happy and satisfied. While it’s not necessary to do this all the time – doing that would burn us out, anyway – devoting just a few hours per month or a few dollars per payday to your community not only helps yourself, but it works toward the benefit of everyone who shares your community with you, too.
While dancing is often considered a women’s hobby, the value of dancing for men, particularly men over fifty, should not be underestimated. Dancing is another activity that stimulates both the body and the mind, and it has the bonus of allowing you to grow and learn alongside a partner or good friend. Tango, for example, is an upbeat dance style that’s meant to be done with a partner of the opposite sex.
While certain types of dancing can be hard on the body, these types tend to be reserved for younger individuals anyway. Most of the dance types that are geared toward adults are easy on the joints while still being excellent for stretching areas of rarely-used muscle. Often, when we learn a new dance style or routine, we start to feel the muscles that we don’t use as much, and keeping these muscles healthy and toned is critical to our ongoing health.
Many men feel too shy or embarrassed to pursue dancing as a hobby, but we assure you, it’s a worthwhile option! If you’re not sure where to get started, look into the list below for some ideas. Most of the low-impact dances for adults get lumped under the category of “ballroom dancing,” but if you’re feeling adventurous, you can always venture into some of the more active classes. Some of the best ballroom dancing types for men over fifty are:
- Cha Cha
Piloting is an expensive hobby, and it requires a significant amount of training in addition to the considerable cost. However, those who manage to go through with it often liken flying to one of the best feelings in the world. Men in their fifties or sixties who are transitioning into retirement may have enough money saved to make piloting a reality, and they’ll undoubtedly have the time to do so if they’re lowering their working hours.
Flying is also an excellent hobby to pursue in your golden years because it has the potential to turn into a career, too. While it might seem counterintuitive to start a new job when you’re already looking to retire, for those who hold piloting close to their heart, doing what they love every day (and getting paid for it, to boot) is nothing short of their dream. Of course, there’s no place that says you need to turn flying into a career, but the option is there for those who learn it as a hobby.
Men over fifty tend to love many of the hobbies that younger men enjoy, but they must also make special considerations for their health. Rough activities and high-impact exercise tend to be close to the line as far as acceptability is concerned, but it all depends on the individual. Some fit men in their fifties still do all the things they did twenty years ago, while others do not.
As long as men over fifty are careful not to put their bodies in jeopardy and don’t compromise their retirement finances, just about any manly hobby is appropriate for them!