Best Summertime Outdoor Activities for Seniors

Senior Care in Pleasant Hill, IA

Unless an area is experiencing a sudden heat wave, getting outdoors during summer is just what seniors need, especially if they live in area with long, cold winters.  But now that summer is here, there is no reason to stay cooped up in the house.  It’s time to get outside and get feeling good.

Benefits of outdoor activities

Sunlight is rich in Vitamin D and the best way to get this essential nutrient is to get up and get outside on warm, sunny days. Seniors benefit immensely from engaging in outdoor activities, including exercise. If they are limited in their mobility, getting fresh air with a walk accompanied by their senior care giver, family member, or friend will brighten their mood and stimulate their senses.  Here are some fun summertime activities seniors can do with or without elder care.  And as always, it is imperative that the senior discuss any changes in their daily exercise regime with their doctor before making any big changes.

Outdoor exercise 

According to Healthy Living, outdoor exercise has more benefits than indoor exercise but also poses greater risks. Before doing any outdoor activities, be certain that the senior is dressed appropriately, has plenty of water, and has the green light from their doctor, especially is there is a medical condition present. Once these boxes are checked, it’s time to pick an activity.

Oftentimes, a local community center will have either an indoor or outdoor pool where the senior can participate in swimming aerobics or swim a few laps.  For the less mobile, dangling their legs off a lake dock with a fishing pole and a friend may be the perfect summertime morning they need.  A walk on the beach would be sure to get their blood pumping and make the senior feel invigorated and want to go for a dip.

Walking is a great from of exercise, especially along a scenic route far from traffic pollution.  According to the Mayo Clinic, when an individual exercises outdoors, he or she breathes more deeply. They also breath through their mouth and consequently “bypass” the nasal passages where air gets filtered.  To find the best walking trails for a senior far from pollution, do a good search using the keywords “senior walking trails+your area” or browse the local book store for walking trail books.

Gardening

Gardening is a great way for seniors to get outside during the spring and summer and it comes with a myriad of benefits. According to CNN, gardening brings about an instant calm, reduces stress, reduces depression, and is a form of exercise.  CNN goes on to explain that a study conducted in Norway of individuals diagnosed with depression and other mood disorders “spent six hours a week growing flowers and vegetables.” After just three months, according to the study, 50% of the individuals showed improvement.   This improvement, which continued after the study ended, is credited with “digging in the dirt.” According to scientists the act itself releases serotonin – the chemical responsible for feeling happy – from the brain into the body.  Fresh air, sunshine, and exercise, all of which naturally elevate one’s mood, was also given credit.

Source

http://healthyliving.azcentral.com/confirmed-benefits-outdoor-exercise-6307.html

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/expert-answers/air-pollution-and-exercise/faq-20058563

http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/07/08/why.gardening.good/

If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care services, please contact the caring staff at TRUMARK HomeCare of Des Moines, IA. Call today: (515) 619-5225.