Just like bears who come out in the spring to soak up the sun’s rays after a long winter of hibernating, it can feel like we as human beings are coming out of our caves where we spent the winter to experience the great outdoors in the spring. It’s great for your health to get outside, as breathing the fresh air and getting exposure to sunlight has both mental and physical benefits. Of course, it’s recommended to go outside all year long, but it’s so much easier get yourself outside during the springtime, when the weather is nice, the skies are blue and the flowers are blooming.
Piedmont Home Care has a few recommendations for fun activities that are safe and fun for seniors. There’s something on this list for any activity level, and many of our caregivers do these activities with their clients.
Walking Trails. One of the easiest types of activities to do outside because you can get outside and walk almost anywhere — down the block from your house, around the parking lot at your retirement community, or in the mall when the weather is bad. If you’re looking for a change of scenery, try out one of the many walking trails in Winston-Salem and Greensboro. Reynolda Gardens has nice nature trails and paths through the formal gardens where you can view some beautiful scenery along the way. You might also check out the trails at these parks in Winston-Salem or the park trails around Greensboro.
Gardening. From planting seeds to watering the new plants and keeping weeds and pests out, a garden gives you plenty of reasons to get outside on a daily basis. Raised bed gardens are a great way to experience the benefits of growing your own fresh vegetables without the back-breaking work of bending over to hoe and harvest. You can even keep it simple by planting a few tomatoes and herbs in pots on your patio.
Birdwatching. Grab a field guide and a pair of binoculars, and you’re well on your way to starting a new hobby. Keeping track of birds from your yard can be a fun way to pass the time outside. You could even take part in some citizen science by helping out with the Great Backyard Bird Count next February.
Farmer’s Markets. If exercise and nature aren’t really your thing, maybe outdoor shopping piques your fancy. The spring and summer months are a great time to visit local farmer’s markets. You don’t have to have a need to stock up on food to enjoy walking around the booths, sampling a strawberry here and there or talking to local vendors.
Health Benefits of the Great Outdoors
No matter which activity you choose, you can benefit in a variety of ways from being outside. Ultraviolet rays from the sun helps stimulate the production of Vitamin D, which helps your body absorb calcium and supports immune function. Studies have also shown that being outside can also lower your blood pressure, relieve stress, and improve your overall mood.
Slather on that sunscreen and get outside! It’s good for you.