Cooler weather in autumn and winter, especially here in the south, can be the perfect excuse to get outside and try some new activities. Being in nature and physical movement are two keys to healthy aging, so getting active outdoors is a wonderful way to include both into your daily routine. If you’re not sure what to do outside, or if you’re looking for a new outdoor hobby, we’ve compiled a list of six outdoor activities for the elderly.
The only prerequisites? Your doctor’s blessing, sturdy and well-fitting shoes, and an open mind!
Get out and explore your local parks and forest preserves by trail walking. Most trail systems are quite accessible, which means you won’t have to worry if you have a cane, walker, or wheelchair. To make your trail walking a bit more fun, make a list of the trails you want to conquer before summer next year and mark them off as you complete them.
It’s the fastest growing sport in America and for good reason: pickleball is easy to pick up, it’s a great way to meet new people, it’s accessible, and it’s a lot of fun. Don’t run out and buy your own paddle and balls. Instead, take a beginner class through your parks department or senior center. This way, you’ll learn the rules in a friendly environment and have time to practice before you go off on your own. Prefer to take up another sport? Check here for some ideas.
Grab a basket and head outside to forage for beautiful flowers, stems, and twigs. You can return home with your treasures and create bouquets or other craft projects with them. This is a great way to get outside and get to know your local wildlife.
Because of our more mild climate, we can plant year-round here in the south. Try your hand at gardening in your backyard, in containers on your patio, or at a community garden plot. Start off with just a few types of plants and learn as you go. You can also take gardening classes at your local senior center in order to learn more about what to plant and when.
Grab your smartphone and head outside to see life in a new way. Photography is an easy hobby to pick up and practice. Thanks to today’s technology, you don’t even need to purchase expensive equipment to get started. Simply use your smartphone to take photos and an editing app to enhance them once you’re home.
Not all outdoor activities need to require extensive movement. Meditating outside can be calming and beneficial. Even better, you can do it in your backyard, on your front porch, in your favorite park, or at the end of a trail. Try saying one word when you breathe in and another word when you breathe out as you sit or stand with your eyes closed. You’ll find that meditation gets easier with practice, so try to incorporate a short session each day.
Here at The Glen, we are always finding ways to get outside and enjoy the weather and our beautiful grounds. We’d love to invite you for a tour. Schedule your visit today.