As seniors continue to navigate the process of growing older and work on settling themselves into their new stages of life, it can be helpful to explore different activities that have the capacity to enrich day-to-day-life and help seniors to care for their happiness, health, and overall wellbeing.
Diverse circumstances, interests, and capabilities mean that different activities will be appealing and available to each individual, but one activity that is always accessible and beneficial for seniors is spending time outdoors. Time spent outdoors, especially in connection with nature, is something that has the power to improve the state of both mental and physical health that seniors experience, and setting aside even just a little bit of time in the day to spend outdoors can be hugely valuable for seniors’ in Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge.
The Benefits of Being Outside
While we may not necessarily think of venturing outdoors to simply spend some time in nature as a health-promoting activity, the reality is that the great outdoors can offer a whole host of benefits that can help seniors to feel better in mind, body, and soul . The following are some of the benefits that seniors can reap from spending time outdoors and engaging with nature.
- Attentiveness: Taking a little hiatus from everything else that is going on in life and directing focus solely onto being outdoors can offer the mind a break from over-stimulation and provide a chance to regain focus that can improve seniors’ attention levels.
- Better Sleep: Spending time outdoors can help to improve quality of sleep in a few different ways. Firstly, being outdoors often involves at least some level of movement or exercise that can help tire out the body in a way that allows for a more restful sleep. Similarly, being outside involves greater exposure to natural light, which has been suggested to lead to a better night’s sleep than a day spent exposed primarily to artificial lighting. The exposure to natural sunlight helps to regulate the body’s circadian rhythm and internal clock so that sleeping patterns are improved.
- Improved Mood: There is a somewhat magical quality to the way time spent outside can instantly help to improve our mood and state of mind. Studies have indicated that consistent exposure to the sun, the vibrant colours and hues of nature, and the fresh air outdoors can all help to reduce stress, decrease levels of depression, and help seniors to feel happier and more at ease.
- More Energy: Building a sense of connectedness with nature ignites a sense of vitality and energy that can help to fuel seniors through other activities in their daily lives. The very act of being surrounded by so much life can help seniors to feel more energetic.
- Social Opportunities: Participating in outdoor activities creates more opportunities for numerous forms of social interaction and relationship building. Whether it be sitting out in the garden with a loved one, going for a walk with friends, or participating in an outdoor interest group or sport, there are many social activities accessible for seniors outdoors.
- Strengthened Immune Function: Studies have suggested that being outdoors improves immune function by increasing the count of white blood-cells that fight off illnesses.
- Vitamin D: Without spending time outdoors in the sunlight, it can be difficult to get enough vitamin D, which is important for the health of the physical body and the mind. Spending some time outdoors with healthy exposure to natural sunlight can help to create better mood and help protect against the development of issues with areas of the body such as the bones or heart.
There is a lot that the great outdoors and all that comes with being outside has to offer seniors and their health. The outdoors can create the opportunity for emotional restoration, physical strength building, improvement of immunity, social connection, and self-reflection. Making time to be outdoors in whatever way feels comfortable and enjoyable can help in the process of promoting and maintaining the wellbeing of seniors in Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge in important and meaningful ways.
Contact us today for a Free Home Care Assessment by a Nurse to discuss how our services in Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge can help you get the most out of spending time outdoors.