Ways Seniors Can Enjoy the Outdoors
No matter your age, finding time to get outdoors and stay active is important for both physical and mental health. For many people, there is simply nothing that soothes the soul and lifts the spirits quite like spending time in nature. them to take you for a trip down memory lane.
As we get older, though, it can become more difficult to find opportunities for outdoor activities. For instance, parks, trails, beaches, and other outdoor attractions can be difficult to access or traverse for those who struggle with mobility issues.
The thing is that the benefits of spending time outdoors don’t diminish or disappear with age. On the contrary, studies have shown that the advantages of getting outside are maybe even more pronounced for seniors than for younger parts of population. It can improve memory and attention span. It can help stave off depression and anxiety. It can lead to increased levels of energy and vitality. Vitamin D exposure can even reduce risk for arthritis and some forms of cancer.
For all these reasons, spending time in the great outdoors should be a priority for all seniors and their families or caregivers. The question is, where can older adults go to find fulfilling, senior-friendly spaces to enjoy the many wonders the natural world has to offer?
In northern Michigan, there are a few spots that are perfect for anyone to get outside and enjoy—seniors included. One example is Wilderness State Park, near Mackinaw City. With 26 miles of shoreline along Lake Michigan, this park is a marvel to behold at any age. Just recently, the park completed numerous enhancements to make it more senior-friendly, from making buildings more accessible to installing “Mobi-Mats” in numerous spots around the park. Mobi-Mats offer stable, portable, non-skid surfaces that allow seniors access to beaches and recreation areas via wheelchairs or walkers. Wilderness State Park also has a floating water chair that seniors can use to get into the water.
Planning visits to destinations like this one is a terrific way for seniors to continue engaging with the great outdoors. However, it’s also important to note that seniors don’t have to venture out to specific parks or destinations just to enjoy nature. Sometimes, simply birdwatching from the porch is enough to give older adults the benefits of spending time outdoors. Getting just 15 minutes a day out in the sun is enough to achieve the recommended daily dose of Vitamin D. No matter the activity, and no matter the location, the goal should be for seniors to incorporate outdoor time into their day-to-day routine.