Welcome to summer! It really is a great time of the year with the sun shining and the cool nighttime breezes, and there are lots of summertime activities you can enjoy. Picnics, birdwatching and going to the park or zoo for the day are all great examples just to name a few, but summer is also a great time of year to kick-start your exercise routine. If you’re wondering which outdoor exercises are best for seniors, we’ve got you covered!
Enjoy the Great Outdoors
Below are the best outdoor exercises for seniors:
- Walking: Walking has always been known as one of the best exercises for seniors, and for good reason! Walking is a simple exercise that comes with some serious benefits for your overall heart health. Plus, it’s the perfect exercise for summer! Enjoy a nice and easy hike or a nature walk – it just may improve your mental health.
- Gardening: Gardening may not seem like much of an exercise, but did you know that completing 30 to 45 minutes of gardening activity actually burns up to 200 calories? Between mowing the lawn, planting new flowers and weeding, this activity is a great way to get some exercise while enjoying the summer sun. Just be aware of these safety tips so you can stay safe in your garden.
- Swimming: What do you think of when you hear summer? Most likely, swimming is one of the first things that come to mind! Swimming is a great way to escape the summer’s intense heat, but it’s also a great exercise, especially if you suffer from joint pain. Here are some of the best exercises to try in the pool this summer.
- Yoga/Tai Chi: As we age, our sense of balance worsens, which is why we should be doing everything we can to improve our balance. Exercises like yoga and tai chi are great ways to do just that. It’s recommended that you attend a class first to understand and perform the movements accurately and then you can do them on your own anywhere you choose. Some yoga and tai chi classes are even held outside, giving you the opportunity to exercise outdoors while improving your balance.
- Cycling: After you boost your balancing skills by practicing yoga and tai chi, cycling is a great exercise to try. It’s best to find flat and easy biking paths so you don’t have to worry about overexerting yourself by going up and down steep hills. To avoid risking injury, it may be best to first try using a stationary bike at a gym before cycling outside.
Exercise Caution When Exercising in the Heat
We all know the dangers of being outside for long periods of time when it’s close to 100 degrees and extremely humid, but even on those milder days, it’s still just as important to exercise caution when exercising in the heat. Follow these tips so you can safely exercise outside during these summer months:
- Talk with your doctor first. No matter which one of the outdoor exercises for seniors outlined above that you would like to try, consult your doctor first so the two of you can develop the safest and most effective workout routine for you.
- Know and respect your own limitations. You don’t have to run a triathlon to experience the health benefits of exercising, but it is essential that you keep your personal safety a top priority. Don’t overexert yourself, and pace yourself when exercising. Try exercising with a family member or friend – not only is this a great way to socialize, but you can also look out for each other’s safety.
- Have proper gear. Especially in the summertime, overheating and heat strokes become increasingly common among seniors. Wear light-colored and lightweight fabrics that make it easier for your body to release sweat.
- Drink plenty of water. Dehydration can lead to a serious medical crisis for seniors, so remember to drink plenty of water before, during and after exercising. It’s a good idea to bring water with you everywhere you go in the summer so you have it in case you start to become dehydrated.
Click here for even more senior summer sun safety tips.