Finding an interesting activity that is suitable for your abilities can take some creativity and planning, but it is well worth switching up the routine and getting out of the house. Enjoying a breezy spring day or the warm summer temperatures is good for people of all ages.
When selecting an activity, consider the hobbies and interests that you used to enjoy. For instance, if gardening used to be your pastime, you might enjoy visiting local parks or helping a friend in their garden.
Become a tourist in your own town
Cities both small and large have "hidden gems"— parks, historic neighborhoods, cultural centers and community activities that are easily adaptable to the varying needs of seniors.
Catch a sporting event
Attending a grandchild's soccer game or a professional baseball game can be an action-packed way to reconnect with one of your favorite pastimes.
Have a picnic at a park or in your own backyard. Locate an area with comfortable seating and plenty of shade. Invite a new neighbor or some old friends.
Remember, your body doesn't adjust to temperature changes or perceive thirst as well as it used to. Whatever activity you choose, stay hydrated, wear sunscreen and be sure to pace yourself.
The Benefits of Getting Outside
One advantage of heading outdoors, even for a short period of time, is being able to soak up some sunlight. Sun exposure generates vitamin D, which is necessary for a healthy brain, bones and muscles, says Dr. Michael Raab, a geriatrician with Lee Health System in Fort Myers, FL. Some doctors even prescribe sunlight as a source of vitamin D, which research has shown can improve cognitive function and mood.
In addition to the physical benefits of natural sunlight and fresh air, being outside provides mental and emotional benefits. Getting out enables seniors to socialize with new people, and many outdoor activities provide opportunities for interacting with children and animals. Such activities can give people an extra spring in their step and rejuvenate them, says Christina Chartrand, Vice President of training and staff development for Senior Helpers, a nationwide inhome care company.
As with any good thing, practice moderation in your sun exposure to help avoid the damaging effects of sunburn.