Summer is a wonderful time to get outside, be active and socialize with the ones you love—no matter what your age. From soaking up the sun’s rays to exploring nature and spending time with friends, embracing summertime activities in your senior years can significantly enhance your physical, mental and emotional well-being.
As you or your senior loved one think about how to spend the summer months, consider these fun, warm weather activities.
When the weather is hot, swimming is a great way to pass the time and beat the summer heat. If you reside in a senior living community, your neighborhood pool may offer group water aerobics classes. This low-impact exercise is an excellent way to stay physically active in the hot summer months while enjoying time with other residents.
Walking is one of the best ways to breathe in fresh air, get some exercise and enjoy the outdoors. Consider walking in the early morning hours when the sun’s rays aren’t as intense and the temperatures are cooler. Many senior living communities offer walking clubs as a great way to connect with others while staying motivated to move your body regularly.
Research shows that gardening can improve the immune system, relieve stress or anxiety and provide a sense of accomplishment. Whether you’ve enjoyed gardening your whole life or you are picking up a new hobby in retirement, tending to a garden can be a very satisfying and therapeutic activity. If you reside in a senior living community, check to see if they have a community garden for residents to enjoy together.
If you or your loved one can get around easily, consider checking out your community’s summer calendar. Many towns feature summer activities and outdoor attractions to enjoy, including farmer’s markets, sporting events, concerts and craft shows.
An outdoor picnic is a wonderful activity to do with friends and family, especially during the summer evenings. Whether you plan to picnic at your favorite park or your own backyard, select a location with plenty of shade and comfortable seating. Pack your favorite foods and drinks to enjoy with the people you love. Yard games are a fun way to pass the time with friends and grandkids, as well.
Summer Safety for Seniors
When the weather is hot, older adults are at a greater risk for heat-related illnesses. Regardless of how you choose to spend your summer days, remember to stay safe when spending any amount of time outdoors by:
Staying hydrated: Seniors should drink plenty of water throughout the day to avoid dehydration.
Protecting your skin: Wear wide brim hats, long sleeve breathable shirts and sunglasses when spending time in the direct sun. Seek shade when possible, and don’t forget to apply sunscreen and bug spray before spending time outside.
Listening to your body: If you start to feel dizzy, confused, or nauseas, make sure to go inside immediately and seek medical attention.
With so many things to do and enjoy, older adults should have no problem filling their summer days with enjoyable outdoor activities. Remember to practice sun-safety, and always head indoors if the weather becomes too intense or harmful to your health.