Since the weather is warming up again, it’s the perfect time to start getting outdoors and getting active! Being active and spending time in the sun have a number of benefits, both mental and physical. Plus, it’s a lot of fun! There are many gentle outdoor sports and activities that you and your loved ones can take part in, and we’ve listed some of them below!
Before we get to the fun activities, it’s important to keep safety and your physical abilities in mind while outdoors! Being outdoors, especially in more remote areas, means that there are more risks. To avoid any issues, take the appropriate precautions! Remember to wear sunscreen, carry lots of water, and if swimming or near water, wear a life vest. Additionally, some activities may be too strenuous, and other factors like allergies or asthma can be a barrier to enjoying the outdoors fully as well. Make sure to keep these factors in mind before embarking on any outdoor adventures!
Finding new ways to be active can make getting exercise more enjoyable, and trying new activities can add excitement to your day. There are plenty of outdoor sports and activities that can provide exercise without causing overexertion.
- Hiking: One of the best things about hiking is that there’s a perfect hike for everyone! While some people may feel comfortable taking on more difficult hikes, others may prefer an easier walk. Luckily, there are many different trails, all with varying levels of difficulty. Finding a hiking trail near you can seem daunting at first, but websites such as Alltrails can help you find them. Any nearby state and national parks can also be a fun, Covid-safe day trip. Remember to stay safe and stick to the trail!
- Kayaking: If there’s a lake nearby, a day spent kayaking can help you enjoy the outdoors. Kayaking is a fun, non-strenuous activity that is sure to be peaceful and relaxing while still providing exercise and time in the sun! Another benefit of kayaking is that it can accommodate people with less range of movement in their legs. If you have disabilities, looking for an ADA-accessible dock will make getting in and out of the kayak significantly easier.
- Tai Chi: Similar to yoga, gentle forms of martial arts can be a relaxing outdoor exercise as well! Tai chi is known for its movements and can help you if your physical abilities prevent you from staying in one stance for too long. This spring, have them try spending a few hours practicing tai chi forms in a park!
Besides finding ways to participate in outdoor sports, any time spent outdoors in the sun can be beneficial! Outdoor activities are a great way to enjoy the weather and get Vitamin D.
- Picnics: Picnics can be a great way to spend a day! Preparing food together with your loved ones is a fun opportunity to bond and can help exercise your mind’s cognitive abilities. A picnic itself is also a chance to soak up the sun in a local park and enjoy the scenery!
- Farmer’s Markets: Farmer’s markets have become more popular recently, and for good reason! Local farmer’s markets are a great way to support local small businesses while getting to try some amazing food. Try making a day out of going to a farmer’s market, grabbing breakfast, and walking around the stalls to look at the variety of food and crafts for sale.
There are many more fun activities out there to try. This spring, take advantage of the weather and get outdoors! Remember to be safe and have fun!
Safety Tips for Exercising Outdoors for Older Adults – NIH
8 Great Ideas for Senior Outdoor Activities
10 Awe-Inspiring Hiking Trails for Older Adults