Summer is a great chance to spend some time soaking up vitamin D from the sun. Warmer weather also means a chance to get moving outside, whether you’re going for a quick jaunt around the block, or renting a boat for the weekend. Staying active can help you maintain a healthy weight, improve your mental health, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and maybe even help you live longer. But seniors also face a higher risk of heatstroke and other heat-related illnesses, so it’s important to balance healthy activity with staying cool. These senior living activities help you do both.
1. Watch the Sunrise and Sunset
There’s something deeply inspiring about watching the sun rise and set each day. Our ancestors likely watched most sunsets and sunrises, but our indoor lifestyle means that many of us rarely take time to notice the sun. Some research suggests that watching the sun rise and set may help sync circadian rhythms, which can help with sleep. So get up, grab a cup of coffee, and watch the sunrise. Or head to a high point at dusk, such as the summit of a local hiking trail, and enjoy the sunset.
Gardening demands patience, dedication, thoughtful planning, and a willingness to adapt. This keeps you mentally and physically active—and of course, you’ll get some delicious homegrown food and the chance to sit in a lush garden you grew yourself. Gardening can be intensely physical work, so schedule time in your garden for the cooler hours of the day, when the sun is less intense—early evening or in the morning before about 10 a.m. To get social with your gardening, join a garden club. Find your local club here.
3. Go for a Walk
You don’t have to lift weights or run to get exercise and become healthier. Walking is a great low-intensity option for getting in shape. Try scheduling a walking date with a friend or neighbor. Or get your dog in on the action by going for a walk together in a local park. Enjoy some natural beauty and take in a bit of history by expanding your walks to include a local national park. Seniors can purchase a lifetime national park pass for just $80.
4. Relaxing on the Water
There’s something about water that can soothe even the most frazzled mind. If there’s a lush lake or flowing river near your house, consider making it part of your summer. Fishing, boating, or just sitting at the edge of flowing water can relax you and help you connect with nature.
For a bit more physical activity, consider swimming, or water aerobics. For seniors with chronic pain or mobility impairments, the water acts as a supportive cushion, reducing the impact of exercise and making it easier to move. Many YMCAs and community centers offer water aerobics classes for seniors.
Sit back, relax, watch the birds and eat some delicious food. For a low-key picnic, try al fresco dining at your house with a neighbor or family member. For a slightly more adventurous approach, consider going to a local park for some cheese, crackers, and sandwiches with the people you love most. Many areas offer a wide range of outdoor concerts during the summer, so consider packing a picnic basket and enjoying some music.
6. Exploring Farmers Markets
Farmers markets are springing up in cities and small towns across the country. They offer a sense of community, access to fresh and locally grown food, and sometimes, live entertainment. Try spending a weekend exploring local farmers markets, then take what you’ve purchased home and plan a family picnic.
Aging doesn’t have to mean boredom. You can still be active, adventurous, and deeply connected to the world around you with a few simple changes to your routine. Arbor is committed to keeping seniors of all abilities and interests active and healthy. Our senior living communities boast a robust range of activities and special events. We would love to show you how we can make your retirement better. Give us a call or stop by to learn more!