Singing birds and warm summer breezes make the great outdoors almost irresistible after a long winter. So grab your sunscreen, sun hat, beach towel, or gardening trowel and head out into the sunshine for some warm-weather fun.
The Health Benefits of the Great Outdoors
Outdoor summer activities for seniors offer more than fun in the sun. There are also emotional, mental and physical health perks associated with spending time outside. Research suggests that being outdoors can:
- Stimulate production of Vitamin D. Sun exposure stimulates your body’s ability to manufacture Vitamin D, which is important for the health of your bones, blood cells and immune system.
- Improve your mood. Spending time in nature boosts serotonin levels, which can improve your levels of happiness, satisfaction and optimism.
- Promote better sleep. Exposure to sunlight can help regulate the internal clock that sets your sleep/wake cycle.
- Enhance cognitive function. Studies show that spending time in nature can improve memory, cognitive flexibility and attention.
10 outdoor activities for seniors
1. Head for the Beach
A classic summer activity, spending time at the beach has health benefits, too. Water is psychologically therapeutic and research suggests that being near water — or blue space — can calm the mind, improve mood, and boost productivity, creativity and clarity throughout the day.
2. Play Golf
Golf is another iconic summer pastime. Playing a round of golf with friends promotes physical fitness and social connection.
3. Practice Yoga or Tai Chi in the Sun
Yoga and tai chi aren’t just for the studio. Take your practice outdoors to enjoy fresh air and the health-boosting benefits of exercise.
4. Try Gardening
Whether you love the bright blooms of summer or the taste of homegrown produce, gardening is a wonderful way to enjoy sunny weather. Plus, it’s a moderate-intensity aerobic activity that helps you maintain strength and flexibility.
5. Take a Walk
Regular brisk walking can be a great way to get the 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Not only do you get some much needed vitamin D, but your joints will thank you. You can also connect with neighbors and enjoy the sights and sounds of summer as you walk.
6. Dine Alfresco with a Picnic
Pack a picnic or enjoy patio dining at a restaurant to combine the pleasures of good food, good company and good weather.
7. Take Pictures of the Scenery
Photography allows you to engage creatively with your surroundings. It also encourages mindfulness as you pause to observe and capture the present moment.
8. Get Creative and Paint Outside
Follow in the footsteps of painters like Claude Monet or Berthe Morisot by setting up your canvas and painting outside. Not only is plein air painting a fun way to enjoy the outdoors, but it can also stimulate your creativity as you challenge yourself to capture shifting light and color.
9. Go Birdwatching
With your binoculars and a field guide in hand, you’re ready to get to know the local birdlife. And unless you’re looking for a rare bird like Kirtland’s Warbler, you probably don’t have to go far to enjoy your pursuit. Birds flock to tree-filled green spaces or wetlands.
10. Bicycle Riding
Cycling is a low-impact aerobic activity that helps you maintain muscle mass and strength. It can also improve your balance and, like other forms of physical activity, it stimulates brain activity, which can be good for your cognitive health. Just don’t forget your bike helmet!
Senior-friendly Summer Fun at Sedgebrook
At Sedgebrook, there are lots of ways to get outside and enjoy the warm summer weather. Our 72-acre campus features nature trails, raised garden beds, plenty of green space, and blue space too. A golf group and bicycle club make summer fun part of the social scene. Plus, we’re close to the Chicago Botanic Garden and the shores of Lake Michigan, so there’s also plenty of opportunity for off-campus summer activities. If you want to learn more about our full-service senior living community, feel free to reach out to us today!