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3 Interesting Outdoor Activities for Seniors: Live Longer Live Healthier

3 Interesting Outdoor Activities for Seniors: Live Longer Live Healthier

                             The elderly have different needs than other age groups. They may be having knee problems due to aging and osteoarthritis which can limit their activities. The elderly can have other problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart diseases.

                               The activities need to be gentler and low impact. As you age, bones become fragile and joints become stiff. Osteoporosis can occur especially in females after the age of menopause. Apart from routine activities, they may get tired and bored easily.

                                   As children grow up and leave the house for higher education and jobs many elders are left alone. This leads to what is popularly known as Empty Nest Syndrome. This can leave many seniors depressed and isolated. At this age it is very important to stay fit and independent.This can be achieved by staying active. They can get out of the house and do some outdoor activities.

                                          Here are 3 Interesting Activities for the Elderly.

Beach Walking

                                             It’s a great way to improve your endurance and strength. Beach walking is an enjoyable way to spend time outdoors. Extra resistance from the sand burns more calories. It takes 2-2.5 times more energy to walk on sand than it does to move at the same speed on the road. The sound and visuals of the ocean relax the mind. As you reach the beach almost immediately, serotonin is released which makes you happier and relaxed. The Elderly are more prone to depression and loneliness. They definitely will feel rejuvenated after the walk. The wet sand is good for the feet. It acts as an exfoliating agent. It removes dead skin and makes feet softer.

                                            If you do not live near a beach, then also you needn't worry. You can walk near the river bank or a lake or in a garden on the soft grass. Walking is good exercise for the heart. It's a great Cardio workout. It’s gentle and less demanding than running. You can walk to a nearby park.Elderly couple walking in a garden.



Forest Bathing or Shinrin Yoku

                                         Shinrin Yoku is a Japanese term which means Forest bathing. There is no rigid definition of Forest Bathing. In simple terms, it means being in the presence of trees and nature in a forest. Elderly people can travel to nearby forest zones and be with nature. The high oxygen-rich environment is good for people with respiratory ailments. Forest bathing does not mean to go for long treks or hiking. It just means walking aimlessly in the forest area. 

                                          You can let loose your five senses. You can see and enjoy the greenery of the forest. You can smell the flowers and listen to the sounds of birds and animals. The gentle breeze blowing through the jungle can have a soothing effect on the brain. Trees are also living beings. Some trees can be of the age of 200-300 years. You can rest under the shade of a tree and relax. The trees release substances to protect themselves from bacteria and other pathogens. These are known as Phytoncides. Elderly People with skin and respiratory allergies can benefit from them. These phytoncides are the basis of aromatherapy.

                                             Bird watching can be combined with forest bathing which can have additional benefits. Those interested in outdoor photography can also use the hobby to make the journey more enjoyable.


Outdoor Tai chi Or Yoga

                                        Tai Chi is described as “meditation in motion”. There is growing evidence that Tai Chi, a mind-body practice that originated as a martial art, has value in preventing and treating many diseases and ailments. It’s especially useful for the elderly because of its slow and gentle movements. It improves your balance and posture. It can prevent falls which are common in the elderly. Many seniors have vertigo and balancing problems. While doing these exercises you need not tense your muscles. These are slow and circular movements. They are not harsh for the joints either. Tai Chi can be done in a nearby garden. 

                                      Understanding the Yin Yang principle in Tai-Chi helps you relax. Tension is Yang, Relaxation is YIn. Everything in our lives has a polar opposite. The night gives way to a new day. Summer ends and winter begins. You tend to get angry with the people whom you love the most. Nothing in life is static. We are in a constant flux. It's the balance that is needed. Seniors can particularly benefit from this practice.

                                       Yoga is at least a 2000 years old art form that originated from India. It improves body flexibility. It involves different postures and breathing exercises. Yoga improves balance and muscle tone. Different yoga postures can benefit chronic muscle aches and joint pains. Different postures are to be maintained for a few seconds. They are known as Asanas. For example, Bhujangasana can be useful for chronic back pain from which many elderly suffer. It should be learned by certified trainers. It should be learned slowly and gently. Never push your body too hard.

                                          Breathing exercises are good for calming the brain. Meditation is part of Yoga. Meditation is good for all age groups, especially seniors.

Author: Dr.Nishikant Sharma MD FACP

Dr.Nishikant Sharma MD FACP (US)

Specialist Internal Medicine

Believes in Preventive Medicine & Quality Treatment For all at Affordable cost. He is a Medical Writer & Content Creator.



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