couple canoeing

The healing power of nature for seniors

June is Senior’s Month, and we’re recognizing the importance of nature for our older adult population.

Getting outdoors is important for people of all ages and walks of life.

couple walking

Getting outside is a great way to relax and soak up the beauty of nature that surrounds us.

Best of all, there are real benefits to enjoying the outdoors, especially for seniors.

Studies are continuously reporting the benefits gained by seniors who spend time in nature.

These are some of the top reasons older adults should make time to get outside each day:

Opportunity for exercise

Access to everyday green and blue spaces encourages seniors to simply get out the door and encourages physical activity and engagement.

senior couple birding

This can help improve cardiovascular and metabolic health, as well as lowering blood pressure and stress levels.

Provides socialization and diminishes the sense of isolation

Isolation can be an especially difficult problem for older adults, and safe social interactions outside can help alleviate some of this loneliness.

people looking at trail sign

Nature and nearby green space can increase social connections on a neighborhood level.

Improves mental health

Seniors are at a higher risk of depression.

people at lookout

 

Spending time in a natural setting, especially waterfront, has been long been prescribed to improve mood and provide comfort to those who may be grieving.

Boosts energy and longevity

Being outside in nature can make a person feel more alive and provide a greater sense of energy and vitality.

seniors hiking

Don’t know where to start?

There are countless ways for seniors to get active and spend time outside.

Here are a few easy ways to get started:

  • going to a local park and taking a nature walk
  • gardening, a great low-impact activity to maintain strength and flexibility
  • connecting with nature through bird-watching (or even just placing a bird feeder outside a window)
  • photography, an easy and creative activity that can be enjoyed in the moment as well as later
  • reading outside, a fantastic activity for older adults! It’s a relaxing activity to keep the brain engaged
  • spending time by a body of water. Proximity to running water can promote feelings of relaxation and well-being

Make time for nature

Even a short walk outside every day can provide substantial mental and physical benefits. Choose whatever outdoor activities that you find the most enjoyable and that are right for your body!