What’s getting in the way of reaching your goals?
Nurse Next Door picked ten (10) summer activities that are perfect for seniors. You should take advantage of the sun while it’s out! Not only does it feel good to get outside, but social engagement has been shown to improve mental and physical wellbeing and even prolong life. Whether you’re happily aging, or you’re a friend or relative of a senior, here are ten summer activities to try, no matter the level of your or their mobility.
1. Go for a walk, jog, or roll
Whether those legs still love to run or a wheelchair is the safest bet, just getting outside and moving around is a great way to keep the body and mind in shape.
2. Soak up the sun at the beach or park
Enjoying the sun doesn’t just make us feel better: Vitamin D is necessary for bone and muscle function. Without enough sun (and the vitamin D it supplies), seniors are at a greater risk of fracture and other side effects. Wear sunscreen of course and make sure you’re able to easily access cool shade by wearing a hat, bringing an umbrella, or sitting beside a tree.
3. Go swimming or wading
If you have access to an outdoor (or even indoor) body of water, real or manmade, summer is a great time to “splash around!” Our buoyancy in water means swimming is easier on the joints than say jogging and many other forms of exercise, and can be relaxing as well.
4. Have a picnic
Bring snacks, drinks, a blanket, and maybe some music to the local park (or backyard). Enjoy a sandwich, and even lie back and watch the clouds.
5. Create or tend to a garden
If you don’t have a garden, or don’t have room to create a new one, many neighborhoods have community gardens. Getting a plot to grow flowers and veggies could make for a nice, ongoing outdoor pastime.
6. Go to a farmer’s market or fair
Summer is the season for farmers’ markets, craft fairs, flea markets, and more. Walk around the booths, browse for deals, and go for lunch afterward.
7. Watch an outdoor movie
If you have a local park that hosts outdoor movies in the summer, take advantage! Don’t forget to bring water and blankets to stay warm and hydrated.
Keep your mind sharp and give back to the community by volunteering. Talk to your local Rotary club, or nonprofits and charitable organizations that resonate with you. Volunteering with friends and family can also bring you closer together.
9. Try Tai Chi or Yoga
Join a Tai chi group for a low-impact, outdoor activity. Tai chi can help prevent falls in seniors and is a great way to improve and maintain mental agility.
10. Pick berries
If you live in the city, you might need to drive (or get a ride) away, but picking berries can be a fun outdoor activity (with plenty of water and sunscreen during your picking session of course). And you can bake pies later with access to the proper facilities.
Regular activity and socialization can help seniors improve physical and mental well-being. While this list includes options for people of all abilities, be mindful of your own capabilities. If you aren’t confident that you’ll be able to handle an activity, check in with your family doctor. After all, you’ll have more fun if you’re feeling good!
Content from “Nurse Next Door”.