The leaves are green, the flowers are blooming, the sun is shining, and the air is warm—it sure looks like we’re finally enjoying a well-deserved spring! After months of limited activity, springtime is the perfect time of year to get creative, get active, and set up a new routine to take advantage of all the benefits of the season.
Here are some activities seniors can do to stay active, engaged and healthy this spring and summer:
Plan an exercise routine
All exercise is beneficial, but taking advantage of the warm weather, fresh air and natural surroundings adds even more enjoyment to a daily physical activity schedule. Even simple exercise like walking, stretching, and low-impact repetitive movements strengthens bones and muscles, lowers blood pressure, and improves circulation, balance, flexibility and endurance.
Take up gardening
There’s no better way to connect with nature than helping it blossom with gardening. Raised flower beds and vegetable gardens and potted flowers and herbs require planting, watering, weeding and cultivating—excellent activities for the mind and body. Gardening provides seniors with a sense of accomplishment and pride, a way to connect socially, and an outlet for creativity.
Engage with the community
It’s far easier for seniors to get out and connect with the local community in the warmer months. Take advantage of farmer’s markets, flower shows, outdoor concerts, museum events, parades, and any other activity that connects seniors to a favorite pastime or introduces them to a new experience.
Move routine activities outside
Set up an outdoor space for the everyday activities that seniors enjoy such as chess, board games, reading, ping pong, or card games. An activity area can be small but should include a table with umbrella, comfortable chair cushions, bug repellent, and a ready supply of cool drinks.
Spend more time with family
After months of indoor-only connections, most families are anxious to get more creative with family visits. Organize a picnic (from a blanket on the lawn to a gazebo at the park), an afternoon of kite flying, a trip to the beach, an outdoor photo session to preserve family memories, or invite grandparents to grandkids’ games and activities.
There are so many options when it comes to senior volunteering. Local senior centers are helpful resources for connecting older adults with organizations in need. From fundraising walks and neighborhood cleanups to knitting projects and donation collections, seniors often find a huge sense of satisfaction when they lend a skill or helping hand to a non-profit organization or their local community.