No matter what age, spending time outdoors is an excellent way to relax and embrace the natural beauty that surrounds us. We all know that vitamin D is one of the biggest benefits of being outdoors but there are several more, especially for seniors. Let’s take a look at a few of the additional benefits of being outdoors as well as a few simple ways to get outside to take advantage of these benefits.
What Are the Benefits of Being Outdoors?
Boosts Vitamin D
Vitamin D is essential for maintaining healthy bones and muscles as well as supporting the immune system. When we go outside, our bodies have the opportunity to absorb sunlight, which is a natural source of vitamin D. This vitamin plays a crucial role in regulating calcium levels in the body, promoting proper bone growth and strength.
Enhances Mental Health
Spending time outdoors can boost a senior's mood as well as increase their feelings of happiness and overall sense of well-being. For seniors who might be experiencing isolation or loneliness, spending time in nature can provide an opportunity for connection with others and social interaction. Research has shown that vitamin D may have a positive effect on cognitive function and can even help reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.
Helps You Stay Active
Spending time outside can be refreshing, making you feel more alive and giving you a greater amount of energy. By staying active, seniors may experience increased muscle retention and while supporting their lung and heart health.
Not only does being outside provide a change of scenery but it can also help reduce negative feelings such as fear, anger, anxiety, stress, and depression. Whether it's a simple walk in the park or a day trip to the beach, there's just something about being outside that boosts one's mood. In fact, a study has revealed that seniors who engage in nature-based activities, such as gardening or hiking, have reported an improvement in their overall well-being.
Improves Sleep Quality
Exposure to natural light during the day helps regulate the body's internal clock and enhance sleep patterns. The physical energy and stimulation from outdoor activities also allow seniors to be drowsier at bedtime, thus promoting a regular sleep schedule.
Simple Ways for Seniors to Get Outside
Now that we’ve discussed some of the benefits of going outdoors, let’s take a look at some simple ways to get outside:
- Gardening: This is a popular outdoor activity for seniors and a wonderful way to help maintain strength and flexibility and stay active.
- Birdwatching: Birdwatching is an excellent outdoor activity for seniors to connect with and enjoy nature while also promoting calmness and reflection.
- Picnic: Whether it's a well-prepared and extravagant meal or a simple sandwich with a healthy side, a picnic can serve as a great way to get out and receive some fresh air and absorb some vitamin D.
- Walking Pets: Taking your pet for a walk is a great way to help you both get some exercise.
- Farmer's Market: A farmer's market is a great place for seniors who love to shop local. Besides being an opportunity for seniors to enjoy the outdoors, a farmer's market trip is also an opportunity to buy healthy foods.
- Golfing: Golfing is an ideal outdoor activity for seniors because it's a low-impact exercise and a great way to enjoy nature. Golfing works all the muscles in the body and builds your stamina.
- Beach: Heading to the beach is an excellent way to change your routine. It allows you to relax, sunbathe, or take a dip in the water.
Regardless of how you choose to do it, spending time outside is good and beneficial for your health, especially as you age. Moorings Park Communities, are ideally located just minutes to the warm Gulf waters, stunning state parks, and an exciting arts and culture scene, perfect ways to enjoy the beautiful outdoors. Not to mention, the beautiful Moorings Park Communities campuses. If you’re interested in learning more about us, contact us today!