Outdoor activities are especially important for seniors to get involved with. Getting fresh air, Vitamin D, physical activity, and the opportunity to socialize are all important for seniors to stay healthy and happy. However, concerns over safety and well-being are valid since the outdoors can be dangerous for seniors at an advanced age.
Physical outdoor activity is recommended for people of all ages, not just older individuals. There have been a number of studies that show just how beneficial physical activity can be for the brain. For example, one study demonstrated that physical activity can help to increase the size of the brain and improve memory. If you’re wondering how to help your senior regain some enthusiasm, positive outlook, and vibrancy back, then read our list of fun and safe outdoor activities.
Walking is a great, low-impact physical activity that can benefit senior health and wellness. As we age, it becomes difficult to get the same level of exercise we once did when we were young. However, even just a 20 minute walk every day can help strengthen your heart, reduce blood pressure, and strengthen your cardiac muscles. Daily walking can also be good for bones and stop bone loss for those with osteoporosis.
Gardening can be a great hobby for seniors to pick up. Gardening is one of the most effective ways for seniors to maintain a healthy active lifestyle into old age. It’s rich, rewarding, and reinvigorates the body. Seniors may feel stifled by having to spend time in doors so often, but gardening offers the opportunity to reconnect with nature. Plus, they’ll get the opportunity to soak in some sunshine and get a light workout.
Gardening can provide a sense of responsibility and stewardship for seniors who may feel like they are lacking a sense of purpose in retirement. If you are considering helping your senior tend to a garden, be sure to implement proper safety measures, such as keeping tools light, keeping the garden clutter free, and building a spot for them to sit down and rest. Make sure they wear proper clothing and sunscreen too.
Golfing is not just our president’s favorite past time. It’s also a fun and low impact activity that gives seniors the chance to be social, get exercise, and hone their physical motor skills. Use a golf cart to reduce the amount of time spent walking in the sun and visit a golf club outlet to speak with sales representatives about finding clubs that will suit your senior best. You can also inquire about getting senior friendly lessons so that they will not injure themselves during their swing. As always, make sure your senior wears the proper amount of sunscreen.
Daily practicing of yoga can produce real benefits to the physical and emotional state of your senior. Across the country, studios offer senior-friendly yoga classes that can help them gently work muscles and joints. Your senior doesn’t have to be an expert or even super flexible to get started with a beginner class. Instructors generally work one on one with participants to accommodate their physical limitations when it comes to posing. Outdoor group yoga is a great way to get fresh air and help your senior feel rejuvenated.
Water aerobics may sound like a hassle that your senior does not want to go through, but the truth is that water exercises are actually a great way to get physical activity if your senior struggles with arthritis and joint pain. Water exercises can relieve arthritis and joint pain while increasing bone density and muscle mass. Water acts as a light form of resistance, but it puts less stress on the muscle than traditional exercise routines. Performing strength exercises in the water can help increase flexibility and balance and reduce bone and muscle loss from aging.
There you have it! Engaging in outdoor activities is a great way for seniors to stay healthy and reduce bone and muscle loss related to aging. You can even use these types of activities as an opportunity to spend time with your senior, or to help them socialize. And with a HOME & AWAY mobile medical alert system from Medical Care Alert, you can always get help if you fall or have any other situation. For more info about fun and safe senior activities, check out the Landmark blog.
Matthew Boyle is the Chief Operating Officer at Landmark Senior Living, a series of top rated Assisted Living Facilities in the midwestern United States. He has been working in the healthcare space for 7 years and graduated from Duke University in North Carolina in 2011 Summa Cum Laude. Guided by a relentless pursuit of excellence, Matthew and the team at Landmark are dedicated to creating a supportive environment for the elderly.
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