Staying active is important for people of all ages, but it’s especially important for seniors. It’s definitely a key factor in staying healthy and happy as you get older. There are numerous benefits to regular physical activity, including prevention of disease, treatment of conditions such as diabetes, and a decrease in the chance of depression. It’s also said to prevent or slow the progress of cognitive issues. It’s also a great way to socialize and make new friends, which is highly beneficial for seniors. The recommended amount of activity for seniors is 150 minutes a week, or roughly 20 minutes each day.
Any physical activity is wonderful, but it’s even better if you can find something that gets you outside. Exposure to natural daylight has been shown to improve mood and energy levels, and simply spending time outdoors to connect with nature can provide stress relief. Let’s take a look at some of the best outdoor activities for seniors.
Sporting Ideas for Seniors
This is perhaps the easiest way to get outdoors and sneak in some exercise at the same time. You don’t need any special equipment – just a pair of comfy and supportive shoes and you’re good to go! Perhaps the best thing about walking is that it’s easily customizable. You can go at your own pace and slow down or stop for a rest when you need to. It’s also a wonderful social activity. Grab a buddy or join a group to make your regular exercise routine even more fun!
Swimming is another great form of exercise for seniors. Working out in water is ideal for those with joint pain or mobility issues, as the water makes the movement easier on the body. Many outdoor pools also offer classes such as water aerobics, which allow you to get in some cardio and strength training in a more gentle manner.
Tennis or Badminton
Tennis and badminton are both awesome cardio activities for seniors. They’re also a great workout for your brain, since both games require you to really focus on hand-eye coordination. They’re also relatively low-impact and easy on the joints, since you can easily tailor the game to your fitness level. Best of all, you get to play them with a partner or group, which offers a great opportunity to spend time with friends.
Yoga is another ideal exercise for seniors, which has several incredible benefits. The gentle stretches are great for loosening up tight muscles and can improve mobility. There’s also a balance component, which is incredibly important for seniors, as maintaining good balance is key to the prevention of falls. In addition to the physical benefits, it has been shown to be good for the mind as well. Yoga has a calming effect on the mind and can improve mood and even have a positive impact on your sleep. It’s perfect for practicing outdoors in nature, but can easily be moved inside during the colder months.
Golf is another popular outdoor sport amongst seniors. Golf is perfect for those who like to focus on hand-eye coordination and can be a great workout. It’s easy on the knees and can be a fun social activity too! If you feel up for it, you can add in a walk on the course to up the cardio workout. If you’re a beginner, many courses offer lessons where you can learn some basics and practice your technique.
Lawn bowling is a great option for a nice day. It’s gentle on the body but still offers a great workout. It’s a fun group activity and is a great way to encourage social interaction for seniors. There are many proper lawn bowling or bocce (a slightly different variation of lawn bowling) clubs for people to join, where you get the chance to play in tournaments. However, if you don’t have a club nearby, you can also get your own portable sets that allow you to play in any outdoor area.
At Bria Communities, we encourage all of our residents to stay active and get outdoors. We offer a range of exercise classes and activities throughout the year, but also see that many of our residents find ways to exercise on their own as well. It’s common for them to arrange their own walking groups or have regular times set aside for a walk with a friend. All of our residences are located in highly walkable areas, with plenty of outdoor spaces, parks, and shopping nearby.
There is also plenty of outdoor space for other activities and many residents often go offsite to pools, golf courses, and other outdoor spaces for a little physical activity.