Enjoying time outdoors when the weather is at its finest isn’t just a pleasant experience; it offers some very real benefits to seniors. For starters, sunlight is one of the best sources of valuable vitamin D. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, which is essential for strong bones. Plus, vitamin D has also been proven to protect you from a variety of health issues like the flu and some cancers, improve brain health, strengthen your immune system and help you maintain your mobility.
Being outdoors offers other benefits, too. Getting out into the fresh air can boost your mood and provide plenty of opportunities to help you stay socially and physically active, which are key elements in healthy aging.
Senior Activities for the Summertime
When the heat is on, it’s important to take a few precautions to ensure your health and safety. It’s important to stay hydrated, wear sunscreen, dress appropriately to stay cool and avoid sun exposure during the peak hours of the day. However, there are still plenty of activities for seniors to safely enjoy throughout the summer months. For instance:
- Watch the sunrise or sunset. The morning or nighttime skies offer some of the most glorious colors throughout the summer months. Wake up early, grab your coffee and sit outside in the cool air, watching the sun come up. Or, head out in the evening to take in a sunset.
- Enjoy a ball game. Head to Victory Field in downtown Indianapolis to catch a minor league baseball game with the Indianapolis Indians. Or, attend your grandchildrens’ softball, t-ball or soccer games.
- See if the fish are biting. You don’t necessarily need a boat to spend the day fishing. Find a local pier or dock that allows fishing, set up a chair and cooler with some refreshing beverages, cast your rod and wait for the fish to bite, all while enjoying the fresh air.
- Relax or exercise in the pool. As the temperatures rise, a great way to cool down is to head to the pool. Plenty of public pools or YMCAs across the country offer senior swim times or even water aerobics classes to get your heart rate up while easing any joint pain.
- Take a morning or evening stroll. Because the midday hours are the hottest, use the mornings or evenings to get in a daily walk. Don’t forget to bring a bottle of water with you to ensure you don’t get dehydrated during physical activity.
- Go on a picnic. Pack up a cooler or picnic basket full of healthy snacks, grab a blanket and head to a local park. Set up in the shade of some tall trees and have a picnic with friends or family members. Another idea is to enjoy dinner al fresco on the patio of a local restaurant.
- Savor a cool, sweet treat. Nothing says “summer” more than a yummy ice cream treat! Indulge in some creamy, cool goodness by hitting your favorite ice cream stand for a hot fudge sundae or banana split.
- Visit a museum. On those hot, humid days when it’s too unbearable to be outside, get some culture while enjoying the air conditioning at a local museum. As an added bonus, you’ll get some needed physical activity as you walk around taking in the exhibits.