With the warm weather quickly approaching, these next few months will be a great time for seniors to take advantage of outdoor activities around a retirement community. Outdoor hobbies are especially great because they offer more long-term advantages than simpler ventures like walking in the park. In addition to getting in tune with nature, certain hobbies can help improve mood for seniors, enhance cognitive function and help them stay active. Find out how these three hobbies can benefit your senior loved ones this summer:
Landscaping and planting flowers not only beautifies a home, but it can also help senior gardeners boost their moods. In fact, this popular hobby is even a budding form of therapy. According to USA Today, therapists with experience in ecology and botany are using gardening to help people cope with anxiety, depression and even physical health conditions because it stimulates the brain and exercises the body.
"The clients who have benefited from this type of therapy report a renewed desire to live, decreased anxiety and improved self-worth," Mitchell Hewson, Canada's first registered horticultural therapist, told USA Today.
Aside from its mood-boosting effects, gardening can also reduce one's risk for memory loss symptoms. According to a study published in the Medical Journal of Australia, daily gardening lowers your risk for dementia by 36 percent. Learning about new plants and exercising the body contribute to keeping the mind healthy.
You'd be amazed at all the birds you can find in your neighborhood if you just do a little searching. Seniors can easily take up this hobby because it only requires being able to get outdoors. They can be more active by walking around the park in search of feathered friends, or they can simply sit in their front yard to get a close-up view of these winged animals.
Not only is getting fresh air important for maintaining an active retirement lifestyle, but the cognitive function required to learn about different bird species helps keep the mind alert. Consider buying your senior loved one a bird-watching book or pair of binoculars to encourage this exciting hobby. Plus, it's a great way for seniors to spend time with the grandchildren – curious kids love spotting all the birds.
Water aerobics is a very popular hobby among seniors, and it's a great way for them to stay active. Plus, by signing up for a water aerobics class at a local pool or fitness center, seniors can find a perfect segue for meeting friends and staying social.
"Water aerobics can help people with chronic illnesses."
It's no secret that swimming provides a fun way to cool down in the summer, but it has other benefits beyond beating the heat. Pool activities such as water aerobics can help people with chronic illnesses. According to an Arthritis Care and Research article, swimming can improve the use of joints affected with arthritis without worsening symptoms, and seniors are especially prone to this ailment. The water provides enough resistance to exercise the body without the painful effects of too much pressure. So, water aerobics offers a safe way to stretch the body and improve mobility.
Encourage your senior loved ones to take up these fun summer hobbies. They provide a great way to stay active and remain mentally alert.