The Great Outdoors: 7 Beneficial Springtime Activities for Seniors

Senior gardening and planting flowers

It’s spring! The ideal time to open the windows, breath in the fresh air and spend time outdoors.

However, government estimates say that Americans spend about 90% of their lives indoors. And for senior adults, the number is even higher as they become less and less inclined to venture outside. 

Why the Great Outdoors Is Great for Senior Adults

Healthy aging researchers explain that avoiding the great outdoors is counterproductive for seniors as spending time outside has been found to have several valuable health benefits for older adults. As noted by, being outside provides the physical benefits of natural sunlight and fresh air as well as important mental and emotional benefits. 

Getting outdoors enables seniors to socialize with new people, and many outdoor activities provide opportunities for exercise and interacting with children, nature and animals. Just remember that before starting any new physical activity, it is always wise to check with your doctor or health professional to make sure it is safe. 

Says Colleen Dwyer, RN, BSN, NHA, Executive Director and Administrator at Bryn Mawr Terrace located in Bryn Mawr, PA, “The longer, warmer days of spring offer the perfect opportunity for seniors to get outside and soak up the positive energy that outdoor activities offer. Here at Bryn Mawr Terrace, outdoor activities such as community outings and other fresh air events are an integral part of our life enrichment programming.

“If you or the senior adult in your life are looking for fun ideas, you’ll find there are plenty of safe and healthful outdoor activities to choose from.” 

7 Beneficial Outdoor Activities for Seniors

The Internet is a good source of ideas for outdoor activities that have been shown to enhance the health and well being of older adults. When considering outdoor activities, choose only those that you are capable of doing, and always protect yourself against sunburn and dehydration with sunscreen and a bottle of water. 

The following outdoor activities are easy for most seniors to participate in and are often recommended by health professionals:

1.  Take a leisurely walk – Walking is a great form of exercise for seniors and also provides a chance to experience nature and make new friends, while enjoying the sunshine and fresh air. Try walking with a friend to add companionship and social interaction to your time outdoors.

 2.  Have a picnic or meal outdoors – Have an outdoor picnic with family and friends, or just enjoy a relaxing meal outside by yourself. Many people find eating outside in the sun and fresh air to be a highly enjoyable way of taking in the sights, sounds and scents of spring.

 3. Go for a bike ride – Riding a bike is an excellent low-impact way for seniors to enjoy the outdoors while improving their balance, strengthening their bones, raising their heart rates, enhancing their lung function and reducing stress.  

 4. Attend a community event – Spring isthe time when the community calendar begins to fill up with festivals, fairs, open air markets and outdoor performances. Beginning in April and continuing through Memorial Day weekend, outdoor events afford an excellent opportunity for seniors to experience local musicians, try different foods and spend quality time with friends and family.

 5. Take in an outdoor sporting event – Whether it’s attending your grandchild’s soccer match or baseball game or going to a professional sporting event, getting outside and enjoying the competition is a healthy way of having fun and expanding your opportunities for social engagement.

 6.  Start a garden – Many seniors enjoy gardening as a relaxing and fulfilling outdoor activity. They say there is something very satisfying about getting your hands in the soil while breathing in the fresh air and feeling the warmth of the sun on your face. Gardening is also a purposeful activity that offers a sense of pride and accomplishment.

 7.  Enjoy nature’s annual renewal – Spring signals a rebirth with the blooming of flowers, the greening of trees and the sound of singing birds. It is the perfect time for seniors to immerse themselves in nature and enjoy its beautiful reawakening. Take a stroll through the woods on a walking trail or experience the sights and sounds of the returning birds. Many older adults enjoy birdwatching, and a birdhouse or bird feeder can provide endless hours of outdoor entertainment.

Whatever your preferred activity, research has proven that time spent outdoors is good for the mind, body and soul – whether you’re a child, a teenager or a senior adult.

For more helpful senior living and senior care information, we invite you to read our monthly articles and tips on a variety of important senior health topics. We also welcome you to stop in for a tour to see for yourself why we’ve been rated “Best in Senior Care.” 

We’d Love to Hear Your Thoughts!

If you have comments or questions about our blog,“The Great Outdoors: 7 Beneficial Springtime Activities for Seniors,” we’d love to hear from you. We also encourage you to share any of your caregiving experiences with us in our comments section.

A Healthy Tradition of Care and Wellness

There are times when the challenges associated with advanced age, a prolonged illness or a chronic condition make 24-hour care and support a necessity. At Bryn Mawr Terrace, we’re always here for you and your family. Our compassionate, professional team treats our residents as family and respects each of them as the individuals they are, all with their own unique life story.

We understand that each one of our residents has unique needs and desires, so we deliver personalized care and services that are tailored to each individual. The amenities and activities offered within our community are designed to keep our residents happy, fulfilled and living well. From delicious dining to a variety of social programming, we offer a lifestyle that’s meant to be lived! 

Located near Bryn Mawr Hospital, Bryn Mawr Terrace – part of Main Line Senior Care Alliance – has provided exceptional care and services to seniors and their families since 1966. It’s a tradition we’re proud to continue.

Today, Bryn Mawr Terrace serves as a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC),

offering a range of services – including short-term rehabilitationtraditional nursing careindependent living, personal carememory carerestorative care and respite care – all in a setting that is warm, welcoming and nurturing.

For more information on Bryn Mawr Terrace and our variety of needs-based lifestyle services, please call us at 610.525.8300 or contact us online.

Disclaimer: The articles and tip sheets on this website are offered by Bryn Mawr Terrace and Main Line Senior Care Alliance for general informational and educational purposes and do not constitute legal or medical advice. For legal or medical advice, please contact your attorney or physician.

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