Did you know that spending time outside can provide a boost to your mental and physical health? Summer is the time for outdoor fun, but that fun doesn’t have to end now that autumn is coming. There are lots of benefits of being outdoors regardless of the season.
Benefits of Being Outdoors
Have you ever wondered why so many artists and writers love to depict landscapes and other natural scenes? The outdoors can be a comforting, inspiring, and beautiful place. There’s a reason that we continue to be drawn to it, even when a change in seasons is on the horizon. Once you learn the benefits of being outdoors, you may never want to go inside again!
Make a Daily Walk Your Fitness Secret
As a senior, you may already be aware that experts recommend that you try to get at least 150 minutes of exercise a week. And sure, you could get a gym membership or try to find another way to do that inside, but why bother when a daily 30-minute walk can give you so many benefits instead? Regular walking improves your cardiovascular health, can lower your blood pressure, and can improve your balance. Walking outside also burns more calories than walking inside on a treadmill due to variations in the environment. If you’re feeling a little more ambitious, you can try a senior jogging program or other outdoor exercise programs. It doesn’t take fancy equipment or lots of money to get into shape. You just need a good pair of sneakers and the great outdoors.
Soak Up That Vitamin D
Vitamin D is an important nutrient that serves a number of purposes for your body. It stimulates bone growth and blood health, it strengthens your immune system, and it helps your body absorb other vitamins too. Your body needs exposure to sunlight in order to produce vitamin D, so be sure to get outside, especially during the winter months when sunlight is weaker. Just three fifteen-minute walks a week can give you all the vitamin D you need.
Give Your Brain a Boost
Spending some time outside can boost your mental health in significant ways. Exercise and exposure to sunlight cause your body to produce more serotonin, a neurochemical that promotes happiness. People who spend time outside report feeling calm, centered, and better prepared to take on their day. Spending time in green spaces has also been linked to improving focus and self-esteem in various psychological studies. If you’re struggling with stress management or other similar issues, you might benefit from taking an occasional mental health break outdoors.
Explore Your Neighborhood (and Make a New Friend or Two)
Sunlight isn’t the only thing outside that can improve your mood. People who spend more time outside get more opportunities to socially connect with others. Consider what’s in walking distance from your home. Could you and a friend visit places like the library or a local coffeeshop? Are there outdoor exercise classes in a nearby park? Even just a walk around the block can introduce you to your neighbors. Take a chance on the social connections you can make by embracing the outdoors.
Improve Your Sleep
After spending so much time outdoors, you might be feeling a little worn out. No worries. The time you spend outside can actually improve your sleep. That’s because the body sets and resets its natural rhythms based on exposure to sunlight. The more time you spend in the sun, the better your body is able to sleep at night. So enjoy that daily walk, then come home and get a good night’s rest.
The benefits of being outdoors can strengthen your body, mind, and spirit. Don’t miss out. Instead, put on some good walking shoes, step outside, and see what the great outdoors has to offer.
Are you looking for an assisted living and memory support community in Kansas City? Check out The Piper. Our team of experienced and compassionate professionals ensures that residents feel secure and comfortable right away. At our warm and welcoming community, which is truly a “home within a home,” we foster social interaction, engagement, and the right amount of care. Our residents always come first. To learn more about our services or to schedule a tour, please give us a call at 913-361-5136 or contact us online.