Benefits of Getting Outside for Seniors | New Horizons

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Benefits of Getting Outside for Seniors

As we age, staying physically active and healthy becomes increasingly important for maintaining a high quality of life. One way to achieve this is by spending time outdoors. Whether it's going for a walk, gardening, or simply sitting in the sun, getting outside can have a range of benefits for seniors. Here are some of our favorite ways that spending time outdoors can positively impact your health and well-being.

Maintain Physical Health

Spending time outdoors can help seniors to maintain their physical health. Activities such as walking or gardening can provide a low-impact workout that improves balance, coordination, and flexibility. Additionally, exposure to sunlight can help seniors to maintain healthy levels of vitamin D, which is important for bone health and reducing the risk of osteoporosis. Regular physical activity can also reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

Improving Mental Health

In addition to physical health benefits, spending time outdoors can also improve mental health and cognitive function. Studies have shown that exposure to nature can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Being in nature can also improve mood and increase feelings of happiness and well-being. For seniors who may be experiencing loneliness or social isolation, spending time outdoors can provide an opportunity for social interaction and connection with others.

Improved Sleep Quality

Another benefit of spending time outdoors is that it can help to improve sleep quality. Exposure to natural light during the day can help to regulate the body's internal clock and improve sleep patterns. Additionally, spending time in nature can reduce stress and promote relaxation, which can also lead to better sleep.

Dementia and the Outdoors

For seniors with cognitive impairment or dementia, spending time outdoors can have particular benefits. Studies have shown that exposure to nature can improve attention and focus, reduce agitation and aggression, and improve overall quality of life. Spending time outdoors can also provide a source of sensory stimulation, such as the sights, sounds, and smells of nature, which can be beneficial for seniors with sensory processing issues.

If you're a senior or caring for a senior, consider incorporating outdoor activities into your routine to promote health and well-being.

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