The vintage image of older adults knitting or smoking a cigar in rocking chairs on the front porch is long behind us. These days, older people enjoy an active lifestyle full of fun and excitement that might make younger people jealous!
No matter the time of year, there’s always something fun to do outside, as long as it doesn’t compromise the health or safety of the older adult. Spending time outdoors can help maintain physical health, keep older people socialized, and prevent boredom from creeping in, especially in retirement when they have more free time.
Here is a list of 15 of our favourite outdoor activities for older people:
1. Gardening: Few things are as rewarding as working in the garden! It’s a perfect activity for older adults, as it combines low-impact exercise with fresh air and beautiful flowers and foliage or delicious vegetables as a reward! It’s also an activity where everyone can pitch in and share in the rewards.
2. Visiting farmers’ markets: A weekly trip to one or more farmers’ markets not only involves you in the local community but also helps you take an interest in your diet and health. Few things are as enjoyable as jams, honey, and fresh produce made and grown with love at a local farm or farmers’ market.
3. Swimming: Swimming is one of the best all-ages sports as it works every muscle in your body with the water providing a natural resistance. Many swimming groups for older adults promote health and socializing responsibly, or you can enjoy it with your grandchildren if you feel confident enough in the water.
4. Fishing: Ah – a relaxing day on the shore with your fishing pole in the water is the perfect way to spend the day. Enjoy the tranquil, serene surroundings and grab a quick nap – until a fish on your hook disturbs you! Also, fishing with a friend or loved one will create strong bonds and happy, long-lasting memories.
5. Picnics: Prepare and pack a lunch to enjoy under a shady tree near the water with friends, family, or a special someone. It’s also an activity you can turn into a tradition with a special group of people and having a different person preparing the meal each time. Discover new places to picnic each time to keep the surroundings fresh and exciting.
6. Hiking: Spend some quality time with nature any time of the year by hiking through beautiful, relaxing surroundings. Hike with friends or join a local hiking group to meet new people and stay socialized. Many groups rent buses to get you out of the city to enjoy some truly stunning landscapes while getting a good amount of fresh air and exercise.
7. Golfing: Many older adults love golf because it provides light exercise and fun competition between friends. Both amateurs and pros can enjoy this sport and use caddies or golf carts if they need them. If you’re new to golf, you can take lessons and work to improve your skills at a pace that’s comfortable for you.
8. Birdwatching: Part of the fun of birdwatching is learning about this fun hobby and being part of a birdwatching community. You can go at your own pace, do it on your own schedule, or integrate birdwatching with a picnic or hike. Bring a pair of binoculars to make spotting that rare bird easier.
9. Photography: Picture taking is a skill you can learn or master at any age. It’s an intellectual and artistic activity that gets you outdoors to chase that perfect wildlife or nature photo. You can also use your original photographs to make greeting cards that will delight family and friends.
10. Walking a pet: Furry friends make fun, loving companions, especially if the person otherwise lives alone. Taking your pet out for a walk is a great way to get some light exercise and enjoy the fresh air at least once per day. You can also meet other pet owners and make new friends – pets are such great ambassadors!
11. Fruit picking: Another low-impact activity that’s fun and gets you outside is fruit picking. Make a day trip with friends to a local orchard to pick apples, berries, and other fruits you can later use in baking or for snacking. You can also pick out that perfect pumpkin for Halloween in the fall.
12. Sightseeing: Even if you live in an urban area, there are likely many exciting places in your area to visit that you might not even be aware of! Take a local bus that visits interesting sites or join walking tours explicitly geared for older people, or research some historical sites and see them at a pace that’s comfortable for you.
13. Jogging: Jogging is a simple, effective exercise that promotes heart health. Go at a light, comfortable pace and scale up or down depending on how you feel. Be sure to check with your doctor before taking up this or any other exercise routine and let them know if you’re experiencing pain or discomfort due to jogging.
14. Public events: There are year-round public events in every community. Some of the more common festivities are on Canada Day, Easter Sunday, or St. Patrick’s Day, but many are localized in nature and theme. Wine tours make for a relaxing day in the countryside. Either attend the events or take part in their planning and execution with like-minded folks in your area.
15. Outdoor shows: When the weather permits, most communities have outdoor art, theater, and music shows to please every taste. It’s a great way to bring family and friends together to enjoy something special under the sun or in the shade. Just like with public events, you may be able to volunteer to help plan or run outdoor shows too.
There are many outdoor activities that are great for the health and well-being of older adults. They also help you lead a richer, more fulfilled life by connecting with new people and strengthening bonds with long-term friends. Be sure to stay safe by following all public health COVID-19 protocols – and we hope to see you out there!
If you or an elderly loved one wants to enjoy an outdoor activity but needs casual companionship to enjoy them with, call CareHop. Our team would love to help add joy and sunshine into their lives by accompanying them on these outings while ensuring they’re always safe and well looked after.
Call CareHop today to learn more about our professional eldercare services!