Outside Activities for Seniors
Ideas of activities for seniors to enjoy this spring
A new season is a great opportunity to form new habits. And, really, what better season is there for a new beginning than spring. Symbolically, of course, this season represents new life. But practically, spring removes some of the challenges of winter with the promise of better weather and more activities going on around town. This is the perfect time to adopt a new interest — possibly one that gets your heart pumping and definitely one that gets you outside.
Getting up and out is important for building and maintaining health, strength, and good morale. Moving the body helps with strength, mobility, and endorphins. But even if moving isn’t an option for you, think about the Vitamin D! This vitamin, both ingestible but also obtained by exposure to the sun, plays a role in calcium absorption for bone health and possibly even immunity from colds and flu. And don’t underestimate the simple joy of a breath of fresh air.
After winter, we can feel a bit sluggish from a period of hibernation. Use the ideas below to inspire a little spring in your step this season.
Go for a walk
This one is simple enough in concept, and yet it can be hard to work up the motivation to get out there and do it. Sometimes it takes an extra nudge to increase the excitement level of the task. The list below will give you some ways of reframing what it is to take a walk and will have you ready to lace up your walking shoes.
- Make a date with someone to walk with you. If they can’t make it, bring them along on your phone!
- Walk your dog or borrow someone else’s dog.
- Go to a dog park and enjoy watching them play.
- Listen to music or a podcast while you walk.
- Drive or grab a ride to a different neighborhood and take in a new view.
- Take a guided walking tour of your town. Sometimes it’s fun to be a tourist where you live! If a tour is too much time on your feet, look for an open air tour bus in town to take you to the sites.
- Take up photography and shoot what you see as you explore.
- Check out a zoo or an outdoor art exhibit.
- Go to a garden or arboretum. This will give you a chance to stop and smell the roses.
- If you take public transport or get rides from someone, ask to be dropped off a little early and walk the rest of the way home.
- Choose a farmer’s market over the grocery store. Fresher produce is an added bonus.
- Grab a treat: an ice cream can be an excellent excuse to get out of the house on a nice day.
What do Tai chi, strength training, yoga, cardio, and stretching all have in common? They can be done outside! If you’re taking an exercise class at your CCRC or local gym, recommend to your instructor to move class outside for the day if there’s a safe lawn that can be used. You may find a new environment may also make your work out more stimulating as well!
Bring your group outside
Are you part of a book club or a weekly card game? Why not move it outside? There’s no reason to sit inside with spring in full bloom when you’re one table and a few chairs away from a delightful afternoon experience outdoors.
Look for parks with tables and chairs, community lawns, building courtyards, or ask someone to give you a hand setting up the ideal space outside of your residence. The change of scenery will possibly bring new energy to a group that meets regularly. Also, pick activities where there aren’t too many physical things to arrange. A puzzle would be a huge bummer to start only to have to pack back up halfway through!
Can’t motivate a group to get together? Bring your crossword, afternoon tea, or favorite book outside and enjoy the breeze yourself!
Springtime brings an abundance of activities outdoors to be enjoyed in the nice weather. Depending on your town, there will be a range of different things on offer. You may find outdoor theatre events, music performances, sporting events, food festivals, or craft fairs from time to time throughout the spring and into the summer.
Keep an eye on the sections of the paper that list events of interest to you, and pay close attention to any outside events; it can be a fresh way to enjoy something you already love.
Winter automatically gets us off the wagon of doing our hobbies that live outside. But spring is the perfect opportunity to hop back on the wagon. Do you fish? Garden? Birdwatch? Getting back into these hobbies will keep your skills up but will also bring enjoyment.
If none of these hobbies relate to you, perhaps consider taking on a new one! Learning something new keeps the mind sharp, and nothing bridges the gap of a new social group than a shared hobby or interest.
Most of these activities can be also be done with a walker, wheelchair, or a companion — so if it’s safe to do, you have a great reason to get out there and see the world through the lens of spring! Remember, the goal here isn’t complicated. Even if your new commitment this spring is to simply request the table outside for lunch, make sure you’re finding a way to get in the fresh air that works for you. You won’t regret taking that time for yourself.