Picking up hobbies later in life: It's never too late

Athletic hobbies are key to a healthy, positive and, most importantly, fun lifestyle. While anything can be healthy as long as it promotes physical, social or cognitive activity, countless reports have specifically covered the healthy aging benefits of dance among seniors. And at 94 years old, England-born John Lowe has taken this news to a whole other level. He told Senior Planet that he decided 14 years ago to act on his lifelong dream of dancing.

From the classroom to the ballroom
Lowe admitted to the source that he's never been "a stranger to performing." Before he made the figurative and literal leap to ballet, he held a managerial role at the Strode Theatre where he acted, directed and produced a variety of shows. The art of dance has held a special place in his heart ever since.

He decided to start taking dance classes on his 80th birthday, and evidently picked it up quite quickly. Eight years later, he earned the lead in a ballet full of performers born much later than he. Two years later, he was awarded another starring role, again with dancers who were much younger. Lowe said that one of his favorite things about his experience was that he was never treated as a senior, but as a friend. 

So what inspired him to start a new activity so late in life?

In his younger years, Lowe spent time during World War II as a prisoner of war. He was captured, starved, and mistreated for years before he was able to come back home and resume his normal life.

"During World War II, I lost six of the best years of my life and I've been trying to catch up ever since," Lowe said to the source.

Learn from John
Lowe is an inspiration, not only to other seniors, but to anyone who doubts that their dreams are too far gone. Picking up a hobby, no matter how late in life, has proven to have positive effects on a person's well-being. According to the NY Daily News, studies show that any kind of hobby, from walking to reading, improves brain function and boosts mental health, specifically after retirement. When people who are used to working and being challenged both physically and mentally everyday are no longer required to do so, the dips in activity can cause negative effects on their minds and bodies.

"I learned that if I was determined enough, perhaps I could do anything," said Lowe.

Like John, you can pick up a new hobby and follow your dreams today, regardless of your age.