Don’t hesitate to live your life to the fullest.

Maybe botox and fine-line lasering isn’t your jam during your golden years (or maybe they are), and maybe you don’t want to find the closest bingo game in Marlton, NJ, on Tuesday nights (or maybe you do). Whatever the case, we’re sure you want to have fun, spend time with family, and maybe rediscover parts of yourself you lost when you were focused on taking care of your career and family.

The golden years can be some of the most rewarding, relaxing, and exciting times we can have, but if we believe the lies our cultures tell us, we might miss the joy completely. This is time for yourself, to give back, to try new things, or get back into some old hobbies.

There are so many things you have time for now that the busy parent or career person doesn’t have time for. Think of all those things which you wished you could do when you were a busy mom or dad. Did you want to take a train ride, enjoy coffee on the porch, read more, write more, connect more? Now’s your chance to enrich your life and the lives of others to a level that may have not been possible before.

Here are 6 ways to spice up and enjoy these golden years.

1. Connect with others.

Sometimes connecting with yourself means connecting with others (especially if you’re an extrovert). Socializing can be hard in today’s age, but sharing common interests makes it a bit easier during these golden years. One in three seniors experiences some form of loneliness, says a study reported in Time Magazine. In the article, Dr. Carla Perissinotto says volunteering, seeing an old friend, or joining a social group are three ways to combat your loneliness. She recommends engaging in whatever the chosen activity is once a week.

Think beyond bingo. There are dart leagues, book clubs, and volunteer opportunities offered through community centers, libraries, and churches. Volunteer opportunities allow you to connect with people of all ages, which is something that has been shown to have an anti-aging effect on us humans as a whole.

2. Connect with people of all ages.

As seniors, you have incredible experience, wisdom, and perspective you can share with other generations. When you volunteer, as recommended above, you give today’s youth a chance to benefit from you. Also, the kind of youth that is volunteering is most likely wise enough to listen and connect with you during your golden years of volunteering. 

3. Take up hot yoga.

Hot yoga has proven benefits for the brain and body. It improves flexibility, which tells your brain that they’re young. No, really. There are actual messages that travel from our brains and connect our age to how flexible our muscles are. Improved flexibility and muscle function build bone density, which is so important for all age groups, but it’s usually a greater concern for anyone 35 or older. Hot yoga reduces stress, which attacks us at all ages, eases depression, gives us a cardiovascular boost, and reduces blood glucose levels. Staying well-hydrated during hot yoga is an absolute must for safety. Talk to your doctor to see if hot yoga is right for you. There are a number of great hot yoga places right here in Marlton, NJ.

4. Write a memoir.

Too many people die with a story inside of them. If you’ve always wanted to write a book or your memoir, start making notes today. Besides being reflective and therapeutic for you, your story can help others. And even if it doesn’t become a national best-seller, you never know who it might inspire to live a better life.

5. Take a train ride.

Take a train ride just because you can.

“…Traversing the North American continent by rail makes no sense. It makes no sense in terms of money or time or social acceptability. It is not—and, really, I cannot stress this enough—a rational thing to do,” said Eric Weiner, author of Geography of Genius. Yet, his whole story is about traveling across the North American continent by rail and why he decided to do so.

“When you’re traveling like this, at a refreshingly human speed, an otherwise invisible world reveals itself…I used to think I would find that time by speeding up, doing everything faster. Turns out I just needed to slow down.”

When he awoke from a nap to a North Dakota sky, he wrote, “There’s a whole lot of nothing out there. But what beautiful nothingness it is! The morning light, golden and otherworldly, the vastness of sky and earth, punctuated with the occasional bison.” (Afar.com, Eric Weiner).

Maybe you don’t want to cross the entire country of North America. But taking a train ride to somewhere, anywhere, will give you the chance to feel the particular time phenomenon Eric described.

If you’re considering trying a train ride soon, keep in mind there are four Amtrak train stations within just 30 miles of the Marlton city center. Also, if you want to try the train for traveling around Marlton, you could help kick-start a new trend. The number of people who take public transportation in Marlton is 52% lower than the national average.

6. Take care of your oral health, and see your dentist regularly.

All of this requires you to prioritize your health to the best of your ability. One area even the most health-conscious people sometimes neglect is their oral health, which is a very important part of their body. In addition, oral health also affects your overall health. For more on optimizing your health, read “Acorn’s Ultimate Guide to Oral Health as a Senior.”