Bird Watching is a hobby that will take you out into the countryside on a weekly basis. You and your body are sure to benefit from this. In our guide to hobbies for older people, we talked about how bird watching can help with your mental wellbeing and physical health.
In today’s post we’ll share five benefits of taking up bird watching as a hobby.
1. Provides You with Positive Thoughts
Heading out into the great outdoors is a great way of relaxing and letting your problems float away. Being outside with nature allows you to clear your head and refresh. It’s great for distracting you from worries about work or home.
Being outside is a great way of fighting back against any anxiety or depression that you may be suffering with. When you’re actively searching for birds you also need to take things slowly. Move quietly, and keep your breathing at a relaxed level.
An added bonus of being outside is that your body will soak up that all-important vitamin D from the sun, which helps to lower the risk of osteoporosis among older people.
2. Improve Your Reflexes and Mental Alertness
You need to be on your game if you’re going to catch a glimpse of the birds that you’re looking for. You need to be ready to grab your camera, get into the right spot, and take the photograph. Moreover, you need to do this without making too much noise and scaring the bird.
Bird watchers need their brains to operate on many different levels to make sure they can pick up on any clues that a bird might be nearby. Over time, your reactions will become quicker, proving that this hobby has a positive effect on your brain and your reflexes.
You’ll also need to observe small details on each species, whilst learning and understanding their behaviour and sounds. Your brain will be enjoying a work out every time you’re on a bird watching trip – perfect for the battle against dementia.
3. Provides You with Plenty of Exercise
As we’ve discussed in our sports and fitness post, it’s very important for older people to get plenty of exercise and take part in as many activities as is physically possible. Bird Watching is a hobby that can do just that.
During your trips you will be walking many miles in order to find the specific bird that you’re looking for. In some trips you may need to go hiking or cycling in the mountains, climbing up rocky terrain in order to get the perfect photograph.
Carrying and using heavy equipment such as cameras and binoculars will mean that you’ll need to have plenty of arm strength. Why not head to the gym and work on your core strength?
All of this exercise will improve your cardiovascular health and can help to lower the risk of several medical conditions.
4. New Skills within Bird Watching
As you search for birds across the globe you’ll also discover and pick up new skills. The main part of bird watching is taking great photographs of the species. This means you’ll undoubtedly need to learn and practice how to take the perfect shot using professional equipment. Photography is a fantastic skill to master and one that can be used on a daily basis.
In turn, you may also decide that you then want to learn how to upload and edit your photographs on your computer or tablet device – that is a new skill in of itself. As you go searching for birds you may end up hiking or cycling up mountains and rocky terrain, therefore providing you with new sporty skills to add to your collection.
5. You’ll Get to Travel
The world is full of stunning and rare species of bird. Therefore having bird watching as a hobby will take you on plenty of trips. Your love for the hobby could take you to exotic locations around the world, where you can also take in the sights and make a holiday out of it.
You could, in theory, make a bucket list which links directly into your bird watching plans. Remaining active and happy is an important part of life during your older years. Being able to visit cities around the globe is a sure way of doing so.
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