Getting outside and getting fresh air isn’t just a good idea–it’s a science-backed way to improve your mood, stress, and even your physical fitness! Taking care of your brain and body is especially important in your senior years. Here are 5 benefits of nature for seniors.
1. Reduces Stress
Have you ever stepped outside after an argument and felt instantly calmer? According to one study, spending just 20 minutes outside every day reduces the stress-causing hormones in your body like cortisol. You don’t have to do anything special or travel to the deep woods, just sitting outdoors wherever you are will do the job!
2. Improves Mood
Spending time in nature can actually help treat mood disorders like anxiety and depression. Even if you don’t have a mood disorder, getting outside makes most people just feel happier! You could spend some time in the common outdoor area in your Senior Living Community, start an indoor garden, or just go for a walk.
3. Trains Your Brain
One study found that taking a nature walk can actually improve your memory skills, and others have found it could also increase your attention span. It is thought that being in nature is a type of mindfulness exercise, which has many benefits for your attention and cognitive skills.
4. Improves Physical Fitness
Spending time outdoors can lower your heart rate and blood pressure, which are both important fitness indicators. People who spend more time outside also get more exercise and have healthier BMIs than people who stay indoors. Getting outside seems to have many benefits for your body, and it’s much easier and more accessible than taking up running or lifting weights.
5. Faster Healing
A study showed that people exposed to natural light (outdoors) healed faster from surgery and reported less pain. It seems that getting outside can actually help heal you!