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Hobbies for Ex-Military Men and Women




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Rejoining civilian life can be a stressful adjustment for ex-military men and women. However, getting a new hobby will help deal with the transition.

Not only is it a great idea to stay fit, but also you will be able to manage your stress levels. We’ve compiled a list of hobbies perfect for veterans. 

Let’s get right into it.

ex soldier reading

Mature man with bottle of water and wife run together


You’ve obviously gotten used to running in the military. But running can still be a therapeutic activity even when you’ve left the service.

Going on long runs can help you clear your thoughts, and it doesn’t hurt that it keeps your body in shape. If your stamina can take it, you can consider much longer runs like marathons.

What’s more, it comes with a lot of discipline that will mirror your military days, giving structure to civilian life.

senior man enjoying a coffee and reading the newspaper


If you are looking to wind down after a well-served career, then reading might just be the thing for you. With the wide range of choices to pick from, there’s no shortage of things to do.

It’s a terrific way to keep your brain in tip-top shape. Moreover, it has a calming effect perfect for retirement after a hectic career.

Not only that, but reading is also an excellent way to get lost in an alternate reality. We all need to escape reality sometimes.

Woman caring for plants

Growing Plants

Plants are like pets – minus the scooper. Growing your plants will give you the satisfaction of watching new life grow.

On the plus side, it can also be a great cost-saving tool. Also, it gives you a connection with the outdoors.

Many say getting out has a healing effect on both the mind and the body.

You can choose to start small with just a few potted plants. If it grows, then you can expand and get yourself a bigger garden.

Done right, you may eventually be able to monetize your garden.

woman playing a piano with her pet dog on her lap

Learning a Musical Instrument

Picking up an instrument for the first time may be intimidating, especially if you are getting a little older. But the thrill of learning a new skill will soon have you over that fear.

You can choose any instrument you feel drawn to, from the guitar right up to bagpipes.

Whether you decide to self-teach or enroll with a music teacher or school, you can learn at your own pace.

Music is food to the soul. It’s bound to help you relieve stress and keep you fulfilled.

elderly brewery drinking beer

Homemade Beer

I’m sure you’ll agree with me that there’s nothing as refreshing as a cold beer.

Well, if you have the time, making your own homebrew can be a great hobby. You can experiment with a variety of brews or even create your own.

What’s better than having a beer that’s perfect for your tastes? Once you get the knack of it, you might turn it into a highly profitable business. 

retired old man hike with family


If the outdoors appeal to you, hiking is just the right hobby for you. It is an excellent way to reignite your adventurous side by taking a break from the strict military life.

The breath of fresh air and closeness with nature will help you refresh.

It’s supported by science, too; research has found that hiking in nature is great for your mental health.

underwater treasure hunt

Treasure Hunting

No, I don’t mean to become a pirate. Anything from being a metal detectorist to scuba treasure diving is considered treasure hunting.

If you know your way around a metal detector or diving underwater, it’s a fantastic way to keep yourself occupied.

You might even get your hands on some sunken treasures. Not only that, but you are not going to get bored from the monotony of everyday life.

old man on the beach kite surfing

Wild Adventure 

This is not so much a hobby but a series of different hobbies you can take up.

Try mixing things up by starting a new extreme hobby every so often from kitesurfing to hot-air ballooning and everything else in between.

It’s a sure way to keep the adrenaline pumping and keep you on your toes.

If you are one for the unconventional, you can even get a pole set up in your house for pole dancing.

Older man lifting weights


Pump up the muscles by hitting the gym regularly.

Your body will thank you for it, but more importantly, it gives you a regime and structure to follow.

It’s a great way to build your endurance and improve your confidence.

If you want to start lifting weights at home, get advice from health experts.

Remember to get the right equipment; otherwise, you might get hurt.

Find a recreational club in your area, specifically for veterans.

group of senior friends playing at the park

Join a Club

Interacting with other ex-military men and women is great for sharing thoughts and experiences.

This is more so helpful because you will mostly be dealing with the same stuff.

Some of these clubs organize outings, vacations, and sports. So even if the touchy-feely stuff isn’t really for you, it’s still an enjoyable way to connect with your fellow veterans.

You might even offer them your homebrew!

Senior painting on canvas at home studio.


Painting helps you focus your thoughts and emotions on your creation. It gives you an outlet relieving stress in the process.

To top it off, you get to choose your canvas and method.

If you prefer routine and structure, you can follow the traditional art methods and learn the brush strokes.

In the same vein, if you are over the military discipline, do it whichever way you want. 

a veteran trains on how to do a first aid procedure

Become an Instructor

The odds are, you picked up quite a few skills in the military. You can turn these into good use.

Try survival training, skydiving, or underwater training. There’re bound to be people willing to learn.

Record some videos while you do it and post them on YouTube. Who knows, you might be able to make money out of your new-found hobby. 


So there you are some hobbies that work great for ex-military men and women. Take your pick and dive right in.

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