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BEACON Senior News - Western Colorado

Rockhounding: A hobby that’s good for your health

Aug 24, 2023 04:00PM ● By Scott Warren

Rockhounds are amateur rock collectors who are passionate about exploring the natural world in pursuit of that special mineral, fossil or crystal. Whether you’re collecting rocks to sell and make money, or you simply desire to display something beautiful in your home, this hobby comes with multiple health benefits that make it an excellent activity for older adults. 

Heart and physical benefits. We are fortunate to live in an area known for its wealth of minerals, fossils and crystals. Collecting involves walking and exploring our extensive public lands, which can help you manage your weight and improve your cardiovascular health. 

Cognitive benefits. According to a study cited by Physiopedia, musculoskeletal hand problems are common in those over 50 and increase after age 65. Sifting through stones or digging to loosen or retrieve a rock requires hand-eye coordination and preserves our manual dexterity. Additionally, the process of searching for, identifying and classifying rocks can help to improve focus and concentration, which positively relates to improved cognitive function. 

Mental health benefits. Spending time in nature has been found to help with mental health problems such as anxiety and depression by relieving stress. Plus, when you find that special rock, it gives your self-esteem an added boost. 

Educational benefits. Rock collecting is perhaps one of the best ways to learn about geology and the gifts that Mother Nature has to offer. Gaining knowledge of earth’s different layers will help you identify the rocks you’re looking for, which makes the hunt that much more exhilarating and fun. The stimulation of learning something new can also help prevent cognitive decline.

Social benefits: There are groups and clubs dedicated to rockhounding all over the world. Joining a club and meeting new people with similar interests can provide a sense of belonging, support and purpose. The Grand Junction Gem & Mineral Club is always seeking new members. The club meets at 7 p.m. on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month at 2328 Monument Road in Grand Junction. 

If you like rocks then you’ll dig the 77th Gem & Mineral Show on September 23 & 24 at the Mesa County Fairgrounds. See the ad below for details.

77th Annual Gem & Mineral Show

One of the largest shows in Western Colorado and Eastern Utah

September 23 & 24, 2023

Sat. 9-5 | Sun. 10-4

Mesa County Fairgrounds

Grand Junction, CO 

Entry $5, Seniors & Military $4, Kids under 12 Free

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