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Lifestyle & Travel

Finding Other People Who Share Your Hobbies

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Why join groups based on age when it's much more fun to participate in groups based on activities you enjoy, such as painting, running or hiking? In fact, finding hobbies that continue to stimulate the mind can keep you sharp after retirement, according to a study from Concordia University published in the Journal of Gerontology.

How can you find groups of people who share your interests? Two ways are through online forums that connect people with similar interests, such as, or by joining classes and clubs through your local community centers or parks and recreation departments.

How do you find a meet-up?

Look online for websites that allow people to search for in-person gatherings of others with common interests. These sites will enable you to enter your city to search for nearby groups, and then change the mileage based on how far you’re willing to travel. Then, you can narrow it down to either an activity that you’re interested in or a category such as fitness. Viola! You now have a list of groups to try that match your interests.

How do you find where people are meeting up?

Generally, the group will list where its next gathering is. You may have to submit a picture and write a brief introduction to get accepted into the group before getting access to the address of the next meeting. This is mainly just to introduce yourself before meeting up in real life. Most gatherings are free. However, with some clubs, you’ll still need to purchase proper equipment if you don't already have it. For hiking, for example, typical equipment is simply good shoes, water bottles and bug spray. For a painting group, you’ll likely need paint, brushes, and canvas. When in doubt, contact the group leader. Give the leader a couple of days to reply, but you probably don’t want to join a group if the leaders are unresponsive.

How do you find classes or clubs through your local government website?

Go to your state or county government's website and look for a local recreational center. Often, these community centers will offer classes ranging from dancing to painting to learning a new language. You may try different athletic hobbies by season such as swimming or basketball. You may also see postings for clubs that meet throughout the year. In addition to community centers, local government Parks & Recreation Department may also offer clubs and classes.

Your retirement is a great time to try something new. Why not make a hobby out of trying new hobbies? You've got plenty of time to explore your new life.

Journal of Gerontology

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