Church provides an excellent opportunity for seniors to stay active, healthy, and social in their communities. From sports to crafts to trips, a church offers a plethora of options for seniors. Not only will seniors benefit physically, but they’ll also gain mental advantages as well.
Most churches offer sports as a way for members of the community to come together for physical activity and social bonding. The age range is typically wide on a church sports team, so seniors can engage with teenagers, young adults, and other seniors. Some sports offered are more physically intense like Pickleball, while others provide low-impact exercise. The games do not have to be part of a league. People can get together to just enjoy a simple game for fun. Even if seniors don’t play the sport, they can coach a team or just watch from the stands and still get the social bonding aspect.
Basketball and softball are popular church sports. Whether the game is thrown together for fun after a service, or the team is part of a church league, many younger seniors enjoy playing both sports. Seniors can also coach younger groups. Basketball is a good option for those in good health because it can be played indoors or outdoors.
Golf is a low-impact sport that can be adapted for one’s activity level because the individual can either walk the course or utilize a golf cart. Again, people can gather for a friendly golf tournament, or they can meet once a week for a round of golf. Don’t rule out visiting the putt-putt course for fun. If the weather is poor, the group can get together to practice their swings indoors.
Health and Fitness
Other health and fitness activities for churchgoing seniors are available besides sports. For example, seniors may meet several times a week as part of a walking group that may be open to all ages or exclusively to seniors. The group could meet at a park, or if the weather was poor, they could walk the mall or inside the church's recreation center. A group of dog owners could meet to walk their dogs together as well. They might even start up a dog walking business, offering to walk the dogs of the busy families or professionals in their neighborhoods. These opportunities to get together will be great for socializing and exercising.
Many churches offer monthly or weekly courses to teach members about diet, exercise, and other health-related topics. These courses are sometimes more senior-focused, while others cover topics for all age groups. Likewise, many churches hold aerobic classes in the evenings.
Seniors often avoid going on recreational trips because they don’t want to go alone. If a music group they enjoy is in a nearby town they may skip it because they have no one to go with them. This is where a church could step in. Trips range from fun to relaxing, and can take a few hours or last an entire weekend." These often otherwise unattainable opportunities encourage independence, companionship, and fellowship,” says Religious Product News.
One-day trips (typically under three hours) include restaurants, museums, plays, and natural areas. Two-day and three-day trips include sporting events, concerts, or a famous site located within driving distance. Some seniors may even be open to week-long trips (such as a trip to a famous city or a cruise) or mission trips that are out of state or international.
Arts and Entertainment
If a group of seniors enjoys going to see a play, they may also enjoy being a part of a play at the church. A group of seniors could get together to put on a favorite bible story or popular play. Similarly, if a group enjoys playing instruments, they may enjoy forming a band and playing for other church members.
Many seniors enjoy making crafts and cooking. Many churches hold special nights where members can make crafts, including ceramics, stained glass projects, woodworking, gardening, and more. Baking and cooking groups are also popular.
A church has a lot to offer for seniors. Through a church, seniors can remain physically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually active and connected. Seniors aren’t the only ones who can benefit; younger members of the church can enjoy making new friends and learning from their seniors.