It’s getting warmer and heading outdoors is an excellent opportunity for seniors to get in some physical activity. There are many different options because getting outside and getting active is both simple and fun. Here are just a few examples.
Go for a Brisk Walk
Walking is one of the best outdoor activities for seniors since it is low-impact yet provides many health benefits. The Mayo Clinic found that regular walking is excellent for reducing risks for conditions like heart disease and diabetes. By keeping the body active, seniors can even improve their balance and coordination.
Take Some Laps in the Pool
Swimming is another low-impact way to be active outdoors. During warmer months, swimming is both relaxing and a great way to get in some needed exercise. Because it isn’t harmful to the joints, it likely won't exacerbate arthritis. Seniors should pace themselves and chose how often to go swimming based on their fitness level.
Try Water Aerobics
Outdoor pools are terrific for water aerobics. Health Fitness Revolution reports several benefits for seniors. Water aerobics increases muscle strength and flexibility, while it also has a positive effect on arthritis and blood pressure.
Enjoy Outdoor Yoga
Yoga, whether as part of a group class or solo is an activity that can be done outdoors. Seniors can check for classes at their community center. WebMD recommends these poses for yoga practitioners of all ages.
- Standing with legs together, bring the arms straight overhead until the palms together.
- Next raise the right leg slightly so that the toes are still touching the ground and the heel is touching the inside of the opposite leg.
- Try to hold this pose for 20 to 30 seconds.
- Work to raise the leg higher each day until it rests on the knee of the opposite leg.
- Repeat with the opposite leg.
The Warrior 2
This standing pose will help improve bone density while it also improves your lower body strength.
- Start with feet hip-width apart and arms at the sides.
- Turning to the right, take a wide step with the right foot about 3 to 4 feet, keeping the heels in line. Next turn the right foot at a 90-degree angle.
- Inhaling, raise the arms straight out to shoulder height.
- Now exhaling, bend the right leg until the thigh is parallel to the ground. The left leg should still be straight.
- Hold this pose for 30 seconds. Concentrate on breathing.
- Repeat with opposite leg.
Join a Group
Older adults may wish to join a recreational group for more structured activities and to get regular exercise. These are terrific pursuits. Check with the local community center to find the various classes offered.
Outdoor exercise is an exhilarating and fun way for a senior to stay active. Be sure to check the pollen count if the senior has respiratory illnesses or allergies. And don’t forget the sunscreen!