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Top 5 Ways for the Aging to Remain Socially Engaged

Game On
Just because you've never picked up a racket before doesn't mean you can't start now.
Just because you've never picked up a racket before doesn't mean you can't start now.
© iStockphoto/carmebalcells

One of the best ways to make new social contacts and keep your mind sharp is to play games. Regardless of your interests, skill level or physical ability, there's a game out there to suit your needs.

Even games that are usually played by one person can provide an opportunity for socialization. There are clubs for fans of crossword puzzles, Sudoku (number puzzles) and nearly every other game out there. The New York Times crossword puzzle provides a perfect excuse to join a friend or neighbor at home or in a café -- two heads are better than one, after all.

Most communities have enough bridge clubs to provide a daily dose of camaraderie. Computer-based games, such as "bowling" using an interactive Nintendo Wii video game, are gaining in popularity among seniors. Some senior centers even have tournaments.

If you'd rather get out of town, travel agencies often offer bus tours for seniors to casinos with packages that include meals and lodging, not to mention the chance to see a different part of the country with fun-minded peers.

There are plenty of physical sporting activities that you can get involved in, such as bowling, over-50 baseball and tennis. Golfing is a great way to spend an afternoon with friends, and so is disc golf, a game that uses a Frisbee-like disc instead of a golf ball .

Most game players love sharing their activity with newcomers, so don't worry if you're not quite up to snuff to start. Soon enough you'll be teaching some other newbie the tricks of the game.