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The Importance of Outdoor Activity for Older Adults
Research has shown that older adults who spend a reasonable amount of time outside daily tend to be healthier, both physically and mentally. Nothing rejuvenates the body like spending time outside in fresh air.
Let's take a look at some of the benefits of outdoor activities for older adults.
4 Reasons to Spend Some Time Outside
Boost Mental Health
Outdoor activities release endorphins in our body, which are responsible for keeping us stress-free and happy. Older adults who suffer from anxiety, stress, or depression should try to spend some time in outside activities every day. It will not just keep you physically active, but it will also help boost mental health. Outdoor activities can make older adults happy and reduce the risk of medical conditions like dementia.
Enhance Energy Levels
The most prominent source of Vitamin D for human beings is sunlight. You get Vitamin D when your body is exposed to direct sunlight. Vitamin D is vital for the human body. Not only does it make you feel more energetic, but it also helps prevent many diseases. Lacking Vitamin D can cause many issues in the body and can even lead to cancer in some cases. So outdoor activities can be a great source of Vitamin D for older adults. It will help you feel rejuvenated and healthy.
Clean and Fresh Air
Outdoor activities let you enjoy the clean and fresh air. When your lungs breathe in the fresh air, the oxygen levels in your body increase. This means that your brain gets more oxygen. When this happens, you feel more relaxed and energized. It also helps you to function better mentally. It improves your concentration and boosts your ability to remember information. This is why clean and fresh air is so important for older adults.
To live a happy and healthy life, you need to have a strong immune system. With a weak immune system, your body becomes susceptible to diseases and different medical conditions. As you grow, your body starts to develop a strong immune system. However, when you reach a certain age, your immunity starts to decrease. This is why older adults are more vulnerable to infections and diseases. Older adults need to work on strengthening their immune systems. Even light outdoor activities like walking for 30 minutes every day can help strengthen the immune system. So older adults should always take out time to go outside and do some activities that will help them boost their immunity levels.
How Can Older Adults Spend Time Outside
Outdoor activities aren't just great for older adults; they are necessary. One way to spend time outside is just sitting down on a chair and enjoying the sunlight and fresh air. However, this can cause boredom which has its own negative effects on the human body and doesn't provide the full benefits of being active outdoors. Let's take a look at some activities that can help older adults make the most of their time spent outside.
You can choose to do different exercises when you are outside. The intensity of the workout you select can be according to your body. Keep it simple, and don't try to go above your body's physical ability. The main goal here is to feel fit while enjoying the fresh air and getting vitamin D for your body. Putting too much strain on the body right away can be dangerous for older adults, so it is always better to stick to a lighter workout routine.
Gardening is another great hobby for older adults. It not only lets you enjoy the outdoors, but it is also very beneficial for their health. Gardening is one of the most preferred activities for older adults. Spending time around plants and greenery can lower blood pressure, reduce stress and anxiety and improve your overall mood. So if you are an older adult passionate about gardening, you can turn your passion into a regular and healthy outdoor activity. Click here to learn more about the benefits of gardening in retirement!
Enjoy the View - Move Around
Another great way to enjoy the outdoors is to go for a walk. Move around the area and enjoy different views. If you can walk, then do that. Walking is an excellent exercise for older adults. If you cannot walk for any medical reasons, ask someone you know to push your wheelchair around. Don't just stay in one position.
In addition to gardening, older adults can also opt for other activities that involve nature, like bird watching. Bird watching isn't for everyone. However, it is an entertaining activity for people who like it. Another great thing about bird watching is that it can be done in groups. So you and your other older adult friends can all walk up to a hill considered a hot spot for bird watching. This will incorporate two outdoor activities in one. You will walk and watch birds. It will also be a great way to fulfill your social needs as you will be in the company of like-minded people. Don't forget to take your binoculars with you.
How to Prepare for Outdoor Activities
There are certain items that you should always take with you on your outdoor activities:
- Carrying bag - You should get a small bag and place all these items in that bag.
- Water bottle - Add a water bottle to the bag to keep yourself hydrated when you are outside.
- Sunscreen - Don't forget to add sunscreen to save yourself from insects and other external factors that may damage your skin.
- Hat - Wear a hat or shades if it's sunny outside.
- Towel - Add a small towel to the bag. It will help clean your sweat after you are done with your outdoor workout.
These are some of the general things an older adult may need while they are outside. In addition to these, the person can also add anything they deem fit for their outdoor activity.