Here are the Best Outdoor Activities for Seniors in Spring and Summer!
Looking for the best outdoor activities for seniors in spring and summer? You’ve come to the right place. Being outdoors has many physical and mental health benefits, from reducing feelings of depression to lowering your risk of heart disease (1). The warmer weather makes being outdoors much more appealing, but it can be hard to come up with outdoor activities for senior citizens. Check out these great options to get your outdoor fix in your retirement years.
Gardening is a great outdoor activity for seniors. It allows you to spend time in nature, while still feeling productive. Research shows that caring for plants reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety (2). People who garden daily also have lower stress levels and an increased quality of life (3). Senior living apartment dwellers aren’t exempt from these benefits–try finding a community garden near you! If you don’t have access to an outdoor space, you can try window boxes or houseplants.
Picnics are a relaxing outdoor activity that can be enjoyed by almost anyone! Even seniors with mobility challenges can enjoy a relaxing picnic in the park. Pack a delicious lunch or snacks, add friends or family members, and have a peaceful afternoon. As an added bonus, eating outdoors is also good for your mental health. (4)
Swimming is a great outdoor activity for seniors. First of all, it’s great exercise! Being in the water is easier on your joints, which makes it a more pleasant way to move for many older adults. Swimming outdoors gives you all the benefits of low-impact exercise, while also getting a little sunshine and vitamin D. Check with your local pool to see if they offer water aerobics classes for another way to move in the water.
Getting outdoors doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming–just take a walk. Walking is an excellent opportunity to get outside. It’s simple, free, and accessible to almost everyone! It can also be a great workout. Many senior living communities offer walking or nature paths, so you won’t have to go far for a scenic walk. You could also just stroll around your home or neighborhood.
If you want a little more exertion in your daily walk, give hiking a try. Hikers in fancy outfits, walking sticks, and hydration packs can make it seem intimidating, but hiking doesn’t have to be an hours-long trek up a mountain. Check out Alltrails.com to find a trail near you. You can see how long the hike is likely to take and its difficulty level, so you can choose a trail that fits your needs.
You have many options when it comes to boating. Active seniors might try kayaking or canoeing. Want a more relaxing option? Rent a fishing boat, raft, or yacht and hang out on the water! You can also charter a boat ride at many lakes, rivers, and beaches.
Birdwatching is a wonderful outdoor hobby that allows you to get in touch with nature. You can watch birds almost anywhere, and it doesn’t take a lot of time or money to get started. There are many online guides for birdwatching beginners.
It’s scientifically proven–watching a fire is a great way to relax and let go of your worries (5). One study speculates that this is actually an evolutionary adaptation based on our caveman ancestors. Whatever the reason, a bonfire is a fantastic outdoor activity for seniors, whether alone or in a group. There are modern low-smoke stainless steel fire pits available in many different sizes and styles. Even if your outdoor space is limited to a porch or balcony, you can enjoy hanging out by a fire.
Fishing is a time-honored tradition for many seniors. It’s popular for a reason! Fishing can be a low-stress way to enjoy nature and maybe even get some dinner out of it. Sitting by the lake or river and being still is a type of mindfulness or meditation, which is very beneficial for mental and physical health (6).
Great summer memories always include an outdoor barbecue. Few things are better than spending time outside with friends and family, eating and catching up. If you don’t have your own outdoor space, most public parks have areas you can use to host!
Tent camping can pose some challenges for senior citizens. Sleeping on the ground gets less fun as we get older, and tents can be uncomfortable. That’s what makes RV camping one of the best outdoor activities for seniors! You can keep the comforts of home, but visit amazing campgrounds all over the country. It’s a less expensive way to travel than staying in hotels, and encourages you to spend more time outside.
Don’t have an RV? You can rent one from most dealers or with websites like RVshare.com. You could also try camping in yurts or rustic cabins, which are available at many KOA or national/state park campgrounds.
Biking is an excellent low-impact outdoor activity for seniors. You can see more and cover more ground than you can walking, enjoy the breeze, and get moving with less effort. For seniors who want to get outside without the workout, consider pedal-assisted bikes or electric bicycles. These e-bikes, which do much of the work for you, make biking even more appealing and accessible.
Check out your local golf course! Golf is a slower-paced option that will give you plenty of time to chat with friends or just enjoy the peaceful surroundings. Golf can also give you a sense of nature even in a larger city or desert area.
Being outdoors doesn’t mean you have to contend with nature. For seniors with allergies or aversions to bugs and wildlife, try taking a stroll downtown! Most cities have some sort of “Main Street” or downtown area where you can walk outdoors and go in and out of shops and restaurants. If there isn’t an option in your town, check out neighboring cities to see what they have to offer.
Long summer nights (or earlier spring nights!) make for excellent stargazing. You can look at the stars from your porch, balcony, or adventure further to a state or national park. Phone apps can help you identify constellations, or just lie back and enjoy the beauty of the universe.
Stellar Living wishes you a fun, adventurous spring and summer! We hope these fun outdoor activities for seniors will help. If you don’t want to come up with your own activities, senior living communities offer fun, pre-planned activities on a daily basis–all you have to do is show up! Considering senior living? Call to tour a community near you today.