Getting outside and into the fresh air can do wonders for all of us, whatever our age. It provides a healthy dose of vitamin D and being outside has been proven to lift our mood and help reduce stress.
It’s great to get a change of scenery and it can help stimulate and engage the senses, which is particularly important in older people as sensory decline is common as we age. Seeing and hearing the sound of birds chirping, feeling the wind or sun on your skin and smelling the scent of grass or flowers is very beneficial.
Just being outside for as little as 10 minutes can work wonders, but if you would like to spend longer outside with a family member, friend or neighbour, we’ve put together some ideas for activities you can do:
A great way to make the most of sunny weather and it is also something all the family can attend too. Half the fun is preparing the food beforehand and picking a lovely spot to sit and eat, this could mean walking around a park or National Trust property and getting some much needed exercise in before you eat. Just make sure there is a shady spot and that you have hats and suncream on-hand too.
Gardening is a great way of enjoying the outdoors and not having to travel very far at all. It’s a great way to connect with nature and you can take things easy if you need to.
While gardening can be done alone, it’s always nice to do it as a group activity if you can. Great for combatting loneliness. It’s also a great way to get some exercise, you can burn up to 250 k/cal for every 30 minutes of digging you do, 195 k/cal mowing the lawn and 105 k/cal weeding and 100 k/cal raking.
Attending community events such as flower shows, art exhibitions, summer concerts, fairs and festivals is great for social isolation and combatting loneliness as there are lots of people to chat to and make small talk with.
Fishing is a great outdoors activity for an older person as they can spend lots of time outdoors and potentially walk away with something for dinner too. It’s great for social interaction as they can chat to other fishermen or women or take a buddy or family member along with them. Sitting calmly and watching the world go by while you wait for a catch, is great for mental wellbeing and relaxing.