Benefit of outdoor activities for seniors
05.30.17

Staying active and being able to enjoy outdoor activities can provide numerous physical and emotional benefits. No one likes to stay indoors bored on a beautiful day. Finding an activity that is appropriate for our residents can be challenging when dealing with the beating sun and hot summer days. With the weather warming up it is the perfect time to start planning gardening activities. Gardening is beneficial to seniors because it increases their activity, reduces stress, improves coordination, and provides stimulation.

Gardening can give seniors something to work on and to keep them and their minds active.  Just heading outdoors and basking in the sunlight can be beneficial not just for seniors, but for everyone.  The sun provides vitamin D, which is necessary for healthy brains, bones, and muscles.

Gardening is considered a low impact activity which reduces the force on bones and joints, reducing the risk of injury while providing needed physical activity for their heart and muscles.. Some gardening activities or exercises that seniors can try this summer include: digging holes in the dirt for fresh plants, pulling weeds, planting, and watering the plants. Gardening is repetitive the work is low-stress and often, just being around the sights, smells, and sounds of a garden can promote relaxation and reduce stress.

The DIY Network suggests using raised garden beds or vertical planters to help make gardening easier on the body. These practices eliminate the need for deep bending and squatting that can be harder on some older bodies. At most Cedarhurst communities, we offer raised gardening beds to reduce the stress on joints and muscles

Caregivers will want to ensure the proper tools are available for safe gardening, seniors are dressed for the warm weather including wearing a wide brimmed hat, consider other age related health issues such as vision, memory ability, and skin. Staying hydrated during outdoor activities is incredibly important as some medications and conditions could cause seniors to become dehydrated more quickly.

Gardening is a great activity for seniors to enjoy.  When spending a day doing outdoor activities, keep the health and safety of our seniors in mind so it can be pleasurable and rewarding.

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