As an ex-member of the armed forces, it’s important to stay physically and mentally active. Doing this will enable you to carry on living a happy and fulfilling life. Fortunately, hobbies are one of the best tools for doing this.
In the modern age of freedom and technology, the number of hobbies you can do is essentially endless. Interestingly, though, there are some particular hobbies that are more suited to veterans.
So, no matter your age, location, or previous experience in the military, here are the top 6 hobbies for veterans to try today:
1. Online Games
If you’re quite tech-savvy, then you might enjoy gaming as a new hobby.
Many veterans like to play online games in their spare time – particularly during the evenings. This is because video games can help with mood and feelings of isolation that are common when veterans finish their service.
A 2018 study by Dr. Michelle Colder, a public health professional researcher, found that video games helped US military veterans in terms of:
- Stress relief
The social aspect is a very underrated part of gaming. In today’s gaming world, most games are multiplayer, which means you get the opportunity to team up with other players online, chat together, and create strategies to win whichever game you’re playing. It’s a ton of fun and a great way to relieve stress.
Currently, some of the most popular gaming genres include action, adventure, and online casinos. Out of the bunch, online casinos are often the favorite for mature audiences who want to play classic games like slots, which tend to be very popular when they offer enticing jackpots along with smooth, entertaining gameplay.
For those who don’t know, a jackpot is the largest win possible for a single spin on a slot machine. Still, they’re not all made equal; some are huge monthly prizes, offering tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in some cases, while others are smaller jackpots of a few tens of dollars or perhaps a hundred or so. A high-quality jackpot online casino may also offer different jackpot types with its slot games, with some offering big prizes, which entices players to engage. Generally, the main types of online jackpots are: progressive jackpots and hourly jackpots.
Whatever video game you wish to try – be it online casinos, internet-based adventure or action titles, or console games – remember that gaming is also one of the most low-cost hobbies. Once you’ve invested in your primary platform for gaming (PlayStation 5, XBOX Series X/S, PC, tablet, laptop), your only other outgoings will be the games you buy each year. Plus, you can even game on your smartphone, as there are tons of free games you can download from the iOS and Android app stores.
2. The Gym
While serving in the military, you were likely in the shape of your life! Each day is constant movement, exercise, and intensity, which leads to excellent health and fitness.
After your service came to an end, you likely stopped exercising as much as you were before. For some veterans, this can come as quite a shock, as their bodies have gotten used to it.
Knowing this, it’s incredibly important to fill the gap and stay active. The best solution? For most veterans, it’s joining the gym.
Joining the gym is no longer the chore it used to be. Now, it’s a great full-time or part-time hobby to have. Most modern gyms have all the equipment you could possibly need as well as personal trainers on-sight to help you whenever you need some assistance. Also, you can use gym classes as an opportunity to meet new people and find gym partners.
Outside of the gym, another good hobby to have is running.
If you can manage to fit a daily run into your schedule, then that’s great. According to WebMD, running for just 10 minutes a day can drastically lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. In addition to this, it also reduces the chances of dying from heart disease by 50 percent. As you can see, these benefits are definitely worth it, even if you only go for short runs each day.
Many veterans struggle with their mental health after finishing.
Everybody is different when it comes to dealing with mental health. However, meditation is widely regarded as a very useful tool for improving it.
When you adopt meditation as a hobby, it doesn’t mean you have to become a full-time Buddhist! Instead, it simply means dedicating a few minutes a day so that you can do some quiet meditation with the help of a meditation app (which you can download to your smartphone). Before long, you’ll be an expert.
Fishing is a classic hobby that’s very popular with veterans.
Even if you have no prior experience with fishing, it doesn’t take long to get the hang of it.
It’s a great way to lower stress and anxiety while also learning a genuinely valuable life skill.
Finally, if you’re a fan of arts and crafts, then you might want to give the painting a try.
Just like fishing, it’s an easy hobby to pick up. All you need to do is get your hands on the equipment you need (paint, paintbrushes, canvases), and you’re good to go.