January each year is National Hobby Month. The best way to choose a hobby is to think about what interests you most that you've always wanted to look into if you had the time. Next, what can you afford? In the field of media, blogging can be a hobby that keeps your attention if you enjoy offering research.
Free or low-cost hobbies are out there based on listening and learning, even if it's from a public library. You might look into a hobby of how media contributes to culture. One way to start is to begin writing a blog that you can open from free online and write frequently about what interests you and readers most.
According to marketing research, numerous bloggers prefer to work with brands and public relations agencies, and uncover how other bloggers feel about their blogs. You can check out the site, Red Jeweled Media that currently reveals new findings from its first annual Red Jeweled Media Blogger Intelligence Report. That's one way of starting a new hobby or broadcasting your usual hobby for National Hobby Month. At least it can connect you to the public if you can find a subjects readers may also share an interest in with your research.
See, Bloggers Want to Be Treated As Marketing Professionals Not Traditional Media. Social media is the new hobby that won't cost you the expensive of starting a hobby that requires you to buy gear such as cameras. You can work with your web camera and your research or opinion and advice or offer hobby advice to keep you linked to the world outside your home. Check out, Findings from 1st Annual Blogger Intelligence Report (Jan. 2013).
Most people don't have time for hobbies while they're working, and too many after work aren't able to pursue their dream hobby when retired due to health issues or waning energy. But some hobbies only take the ability to listen or read. Check out the site, National Hobby Month - Find Me A Hobby. 101 Hobby Ideas.
Some of the easier hobbies for seniors include bird watching, usually chosen by those who aren't able to do gardening. The most popular hobby in the nation is gardening, and genealogy is the second favorite. A hobby that doesn't cost much is tutoring someone in some field you know well or in which you have a lifetime of experience and are able to keep up to date on information in that field.
You can tutor online or face to face, in a public library, or in other places that are safe for you and inexpensive, such as an art gallery, museum, school, house of worship, social center, or private music school. Or you can show people how to repair objects or enhance creativity in an area you know best. Most people have an interest in one or more subjects. A hobby can be a new learning experience, such as learning about nutrition or how to save money and be frugal.
A hobby as an activity or interest pursued outside one's regular occupation or after retirement. The hobby is done primarily for pleasure. How you choose a hobby is to find out what interests you most that you'd like to hear more about or read, visit places where other people have the same hobby, or collect items that you want to look at or display, or items that you want to offer to others such as antiques.
Bird watching as a hobby
See, Bird Watching as a Hobby. A bird watching hobby can be adopted by anyone as you can watch birds anywhere you like - even in your own backyard. A bird watching hobby is always better developed when you live in the outskirts of a city or in a smaller town unless you have regular travel opportunities in order to indulge in some serious birding. Endangered species of birds are being followed in order to ensure that they don’t become extinct in the country and around the world. Watching birds or wildlife can be done while traveling or from your window.
Usually those that take up a bird watching hobby are fascinated by different species of birds, their behavior, their color and migration patterns. Depending on which part of the country you live, you can see different types of birds every season as they migrate from north to south.
It's not expensive to watch birds
You will soon discover that your bird watching hobby is not expensive, as all you need to get started is a decent pair of binoculars, however as you develop a liking for this hobby you may want to expand your horizons and travel to different parts of the country (or indeed the world) in order to pursue your bird watching hobby, giving you the chance of observing different species of birds.
If you want to get into the thick of science in birdwatching, check out what others are researching in the field such as archaeology or DNA-driven research on the original migrations of humans, birds, animals, or prehistoric peoples to a variety of geographic locations.
Other hobbies include special types of music such as listening to world music or playing an instrument, singing with a chorus, or reading and listening to history or documentaries, reading novels, or watching movies. You may want to start a hobby of creative family newsletters featuring photos and new information that your relatives will cherish for generations.
Hobbies can be for entertainment or for learning, such as learning about how to tailor the best nutrition to your body's metabolic needs. In Sacramento, you can look at what type of hobby shows are in the convention center downtown, Cal Expo, or the various lodges displaying items of interest to collectors or crafters. See, Want creative craft ideas?
For people over age 70, popular hobbies are painting in acrylics, watercolors, or oils. It's wise to choose a painting format where you can stand the smell. Some people don't like the scent of oil paint and thinner because it gets them dizzy, but watercolors and other water-based paints usually don't have a strong odor.
Other people enjoy crafts. Some seniors don't like to do crafts that tend to end up in thrift shops, such as their crocheted blankets and covers.
Photography lets you enjoy the sights and view of the outdoors. Some specialize in photographing pets. Scrap booking and digital scrap booking lets you create newsletters from old photos or start a website of ancient faces where you try to match the photo to surviving relatives to return relatives' photos to the descendants.
Many hobbies focus on socializing whether it's playing cards or life-long learning classes. Being able to help others could be the most rewarding hobby for those who have the energy to be of service. A hobby that doesn't isolate you can keep you from losing too much myelin from your brain due to social isolation.
Getting into a new hobby is a great way to fight not only depression but also memory loss in seniors because it makes the brain active. For more ideas on hobbies that you as a retired senior can do, please pay a visit to the site, Fun Hobbies For Seniors.
Choose a hobby that won't socially isolate you all the time
Social isolation is really bad for the brains of seniors, if humans' brains act in similar ways to lab animals when isolated for a length of time. As adults age, normally, you would see more compaction, but when social isolation interferes, there's less compaction and therefore, less myelin being made. Does social isolation age you quicker?
Social isolation can make you meaner to people, more apt to respond to any given comment not with silence and a smile but with a comment blurting out for someone to not do something or do it a different way, or simply stating how annoyed you are at that person's comment or even body language. But thickened carotid arteries can also make people grumpy or nasty to strangers.
Researchers are studying animal models of what happens in the brain when isolation occurs for prolonged periods. Many seniors have problems meeting new people and making friends, especially when they are isolated, low-income, rarely or never visited, or lack transportation to social events to even meet people.
When myelin is disrupted, that white fatty material, composed chiefly of lipids and lipoproteins, that encloses certain axons and nerve fibers also can change what happens to your nervous system. For example, people with problems with the myelin in their brains, spines, or nervous system may suffer from a variety of conditions such as multiple sclerosis and other illnesses affecting the myelin and myelin sheath of their nervous systems.
A demyelinating disease is any disease of the nervous system in which the myelin sheath of neurons is damaged. For more information on how myelin works in the human body, see the site, A Look at Myelin and Myelin-Related Disorders. The question now for researchers to study is whether social isolation in humans affects the production of myelin which in turn relates to degenerative diseases. Multiple sclerosis and the diseases such as the leukodystrophies are fundamentally very different disorders. Even an experienced clinician may have difficulty telling them apart.
A new study from the University at Buffalo funded by the National Institutes of Health and published in the journal Nature Neuroscience shows that when researchers worked with animals in isolation for prolonged periods of time, the animals' brains begin to make less myelin in the region of the brain responsible for complex emotional and cognitive behavior, according to the new study from the University at Buffalo and Mt. Sinai School of Medicine.
You can read the results of the study in the journal Nature Neuroscience online. This new research may prompt new investigations into white matter’s role in psychiatric disorders as well as connections between mood and myelin diseases, like Multiple Sclerosis. Isolation also created a depressive-like state for the lab animals studied.
Prolonged isolation changes the brain's ability to adapt to changes
The research sheds new light on brain plasticity, the brain's ability to adapt to environmental changes. It reveals that neurons aren't the only brain structures that undergo changes in response to an individual's environment and experience, according to one of the paper's lead authors, Karen Dietz, PhD, research scientist in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
Dietz did the work while a postdoctoral researcher at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine; Jia Liu, PhD, a Mt. Sinai postdoctoral researcher, is the other lead author. The paper notes that changes in the brain's white matter, or myelin, have been seen before in psychiatric disorders, and demyelinating disorders have also had an association with depression. Recently, myelin changes were also seen in very young animals or adolescents responding to environmental changes.
"This research reveals for the first time a role for myelin in adult psychiatric disorders," Dietz explains in the November 11, 2012 news release, New form of brain plasticity: Study shows how social isolation disrupts myelin production. "It demonstrates that plasticity in the brain is not restricted to neurons, but actively occurs in glial cells, such as the oligodendrocytes, which produce myelin."
Myelin is the crucial fatty material that wraps the axons of neurons and allows them to signal effectively
Normal nerve function is lost in demyelinating disorders, such as MS and the rare, fatal, childhood disease, Krabbe's disease. This paper reveals that the stress of social isolation disrupts the sequence in which the myelin-making cells, the oligodendrocytes, are formed. In the experiment, adult mice, normally social animals, were isolated for eight weeks to induce a depressive-like state.
They were then introduced to a "novel" mouse, one they hadn't seen before. Whereas mice are normally highly motivated to be social, those who had been socially isolated did not show any interest in interacting with the new mouse, a model of social avoidance and withdrawal.
Animals socially isolated lost interest in interacting with the new mouse introduced
Brain tissue analysis of the socially isolated animals revealed significantly lower than normal levels of gene transcription for oligodendrocyte cells in the prefrontal cortex, a brain region responsible for emotional and cognitive behavior.
"This research provides the first explanation of the mechanism behind how this brain plasticity occurs showing how this change in the level of social interaction of the adult animal resulted in changes in oligodendrocytes," Karen Dietz explained in the news release.
The key change was that cellular nuclei in the prefrontal cortex contained less heterochromatin, a tightly packed form of DNA material, which is unavailable for gene expression. "This process of DNA compaction is what signifies that the oligodendrocytes have matured, allowing them to produce normal amounts of myelin," explained Dr. Dietz in the news release.
"We have observed in socially isolated animals that there isn't as much compaction, and the oligodendrocytes look more immature. As adults age, normally, you would see more compaction, but when social isolation interferes, there's less compaction and therefore, less myelin being made."
Myelin production goes back to normal after a period of social integration
She adds, however, that the research also showed that myelin production went back to normal after a period of social integration, suggesting that environmental intervention was sufficient to reverse the negative consequences of adult social isolation. This is how animals' brains work, and humans might have the same response if returned to an environment without prolonged isolation.
Seniors that never receive visitors, and don't have the energy to entertain friends, whether they have a family or not, often find themselves in situations of prolonged isolation, especially those with no access to public transportation who live in car-dependent homes and no longer drive (or never learned when a spouse was alive).
Myelin changes triggered by social isolation early in life also studied earlier in animal models
The new paper, together with a report published earlier this year by another group showing myelin changes triggered by social isolation early in life will broaden investigations into brain plasticity, says David Dietz, PhD, one of the paper's co-authors, an assistant professor of pharmacology and toxicology at UB.
In addition, adds Karen Dietz, the work has implications for future questions regarding MS and other myelin disorders. "This research suggests that maybe recovery from an MS episode might be enhanced by social interaction," she says. "This opens another avenue of investigation of how mood and myelin disorders may interact with one another." Major funding for the research came from the National Institutes of Health.