How Seniors Can Connect with Nature
As the summer continues, it’s important to remember that connecting with nature imparts so many benefits to people with outdoor hobbies. Not only have studies shown that spending time in nature can reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression, they have also proven that breathing fresh air regularly can improve the health of your immune system. In addition, the exercise you get walking around outdoors improves your overall health, building muscle to prevent injuries and reducing your chances of developing cardiovascular disease.
Unfortunately, many seniors have difficulty getting outside. Mobility issues can create a physical obstacle to spending time in nature, and some seniors may be wary about the potential for injury that comes with doing physical activities outdoors.
At Summerset Senior Living, we know how important it is for seniors to spend time outside and we have developed several programs that allow our residents to safely enjoy nature’s splendor. Here are some low-impact ways seniors can get outside, and some activities you can do even if you have mobility issues:
- Gardening – If you can’t get out into nature, you can bring nature into your own back yard! Planting a small garden will give you more reasons to go outside, and watching your plants grow over the warm season can give you a real sense of accomplishment.
- Taking Walks – Walking for at least 30 minutes every day is proven to build muscle, reduce your chances of developing osteoporosis, improve joint health, and strengthen your cardiovascular system. If you can’t walk for 30 minutes straight, try breaking it up into shorter walks throughout the day.
- Birdwatching – Sometimes simply observing nature is enough to lift your mood. No matter where you live, you can potentially observe hundreds of different bird species throughout the year. With their gorgeous plumage and beautiful songs, birds are some of the most expressive animals out there, and spotting a bird you haven’t seen before can be a real thrill! The great thing about birdwatching is that anyone can do it, even those with mobility issues.
- Visiting Local Parks – Speaking of animals, there is likely a park near you that is full of them. You can visit the park to take a walk or to watch for birds. You can even bring some food pellets or fresh greens to feed ducks and other waterfowl; they will certainly appreciate seeing you! Visiting the park can also be a social activity. Spend enough time there and you are bound to meet some new friends and their pets, which can really lift your mood.
These are just a few ideas about how seniors can connect with nature. The truth is that no matter what you choose to do, doing it outside will make the experience even more rewarding. Do some research and find low-impact, safe activities that appeal to you.
One more note: if you are spending time outside in warm weather, be sure to bring plenty of water, apply sunscreen regularly, and consider packing a small first aid kit. It’s also a good idea to inform friends and family about where you are going and bring a phone so you can contact them. Whatever you choose to do outdoors, do it safely and take all the necessary precautions.
The team at Summerset Senior Living is dedicated to helping our residents stay healthy by spending time outdoors. Our senior living communities are located in some of the most beautiful areas in the country, so get in touch with us if you are interested in touring one of our communities in northern California or our newest location in Reno! Call (916) 619-0494 to request more information or to schedule your tour today.