Spending time outdoors and amidst nature is important for people of all ages and walks of life. It doesn’t matter if you’re at a park, in the woods, or in your garden; simply being outdoors is known to have a calming effect and improve your mental and physical health in many ways.
Considering how technology is an inseparable part of our lives today, being in nature gives us a chance to distance ourselves from screens and instead reconnect with life’s more important things.
While getting outside is essential for everyone, it is especially crucial for seniors. Owing to their declining health and limited mobility, most seniors cannot go out and about as they used to in their hay days. This can make a senior feel isolated, alone and stuck in a monotonous routine. Thankfully, one doesn’t need much to break the monotony of staying indoors. Simple things such as a gust of fresh air and the sound of birds chirping can offer most seniors a break from their daily life.
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As seniors, going outside is a great way to get in some light exercise, socialize with friends, relax and take peace from the natural beauty surrounding us. According to studies, seniors who spend some time in the outdoors enjoy increased feelings of connectedness and renewal. Moreover, getting outdoors also encourages seniors to increase their physical and mental activity levels, which can help slow down cognitive and mobility decline.
Wondering how to get started? Here are some ways you or your loved ones can spend time outdoors, in nature.
Take a walk
Whether a long hike up a nature trail or a quick stroll in the neighbourhood park, walking is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and stay physically active. Going on a walk not only means getting fresh air but also taking in the sights nature offers.
Start a garden
Gardening is a fun and fulfilling activity, especially for seniors. It is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and get in some fresh air. Gardening can help seniors maintain strength and flexibility while giving them something to look forward to daily. The joy of growing something right from its seed is truly unparalleled.
And if you’re worried that you don’t have a green thumb, don’t worry; anyone can get good at gardening with some time and practice. For people who don’t have the space to do it outdoors, indoor plants are a great way to get started. To prevent strain on the knees, vertical gardening is an alternative that can keep things fun for seniors without being physically strenuous for them. There are also a few startups, such as Farmizen, that let you rent/lease small plots of land so you can grow your own kitchen garden.
Get started with Nature Photography
Nature photography is a great motivation to head outdoors. Photography as a hobby does not require much physical effort, making it a good option for seniors. As a nature photographer, you can engage your sense of creativity as you compose your shots for the perfect photo.
Indulge in bird watching
Bird watching is a relaxing way to enjoy and connect with nature. Initially, it may seem like a less exciting hobby, but things can get interesting pretty fast. People with bird watching as their hobby often talk about how it is very soothing and therapeutic.
Besides, learning the names, appearances and calls of local birds is good exercise for your brain. Moreover, you can also combine this hobby with two other activities listed here – walking and nature photography.
Go on a picnic
Whether it is a well-planned extravagant event or a last-minute decision, an outdoor picnic is an excellent way to soak up some sun and enjoy mother nature while also socializing with friends and family. The kids can play games while the adults and seniors laze around soaking in the sun and breathing in the fresh air.
So, what are you waiting for… Grab a picnic basket and head to a scenic spot for a day full of laughter and sunshine. Just remember to pick a place with comfortable seating and shade.