With spring in full swing, most people are itching to get outside and enjoy the warmer temperature and longer hours of daylight. However, for seniors, heading outside can be more important than simply stepping out after a long winter stuck inside. Whether it is walking around the neighborhood, gardening or anything in between, spending time outdoors offers a host of health benefits, and caregivers should take steps to encourage their loved ones to do so.
For starters, walking outdoors can help seniors relieve stress. In fact, a 2012 study published in the journal Landscape and Urban Planning found that walking through parks and other woodland areas tended to reduce anxiety among its participants. Not only that, but any level of physical activity boost endorphin levels in the brain, which are tied to an improved mood and a boost in self esteem.
While there are certainly benefits to heading outdoors, sometimes seniors may be hesitant to walk out the front door due to concerns over mobility or other health issues. The best way to allay some of these fears is to ensure a companionship care provider or family member goes with them. Having someone can encourage them to stride confidently and enjoy the benefits of getting outdoors.