As we get older, our passions for cooking may get side-lined in favor of getting takeaways or eating out, which provide us with convenience. However, cooking and baking has been shown to provide a wealth of benefits beyond producing the delicious end product you can enjoy. Here are a few reasons to consider taking up baking and cooking in retirement as fun hobbies!
Stress-relief and Relaxation
Baking and Cooking can vastly improve your mood as you undergo the process of creating something that’s uniquely your own. Some actions you’ll carry out when preparing a meal, such as chopping and stirring, can make the act of cooking incredibly meditative.
Moreover, movements such as kneading bread have been shown to reduce levels of anxiety, as well as help the cook manage their symptoms of depression.
Studies have shown that engaging in certain physical tasks such as painting, cooking, or baking can slow down one’s cognitive decline and treat dementia.
Different foods tend to unlock core memories of individuals—whether it’s a pastry snack you used to buy on the way home from school, or a casserole dish that you used to bake with your mother using an old family recipe.
The smells of the food and the familiar process of certain steps in creating a particular dish can help to stimulate your memory centers, serving as a way to manage or prevent neurodegenerative diseases of the brain such as dementia.
Control Over Nutritional Value of Meals
Maintaining your health should be a top priority in your golden years, and there are many ways to do so, from actively choosing to cook more meals at home, to joining a tailored health and fitness program in a retirement community.
One of the best parts about cooking is being able to control just how much of every ingredient you put into your dish. Typically, takeaway or restaurant meals can be loaded with higher amounts of sodium, sugar, and preservatives than we’re aware of. Picking your own ingredients to cook helps you create a diet that is best suited for your individual health needs.
Some have likened the process of cooking or baking to an art form, as one is given the autonomy to make certain tweaks to a recipe they found, or even come up with their own dish entirely.
Creative expression through cooking or baking can bring about great satisfaction and joy, and even more so when your loved ones get to taste what you’ve made!
The next time you find yourself yearning for something to do, try baking a cake. Let your creative juices flow as you decide on how to go about icing and decorating the cake, and don’t be afraid to practice if it doesn’t come out perfectly the first time!
Independent living communities typically provide amenities and programs that accommodate a wealth of hobbies and interests that you have. What’s more is that these activities such as baking or cooking can be done in a group setting, where opportunities for social interaction can greatly enhance the overall experience and sense of fulfillment!