5 outdoor activities that seniors will enjoy
With the cold weather almost behind us and summer ahead, there’s every reason to get outdoors, soak up the sunshine and re-energise your body and mind. These five outdoor activities will go a long way towards putting the spring back in your step.
It may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of outdoor exercise, but gardening is an excellent all-over workout that includes bending, stretching and strengthening movements. Just remember to bend your knees to prevent putting strain on your back when you’re pulling up weeds or lifting garden refuse. Gardening in sunny weather also ensures ample exposure to vitamin D, which is good for your bone health (it also reduces your risk of developing osteoporosis), cardiovascular health and immune system. Finally, being out in the sunshine and breathing in fresh air while you tend to your garden is important for your mental health too.
Birds of a feather really do flock together when it comes to this peaceful pastime. Not only is bird-watching a wonderful way to meet new people, it also connects you to nature, which is good for the soul, and helps to keep up your focus and attention to detail well into old age. All you need to get started is a good pair of binoculars and a reputable birding book like Roberts Birds of South Africa or Sasol Birds of Southern Africa, which is also available as an app for Apple and Android.
Are you a keen golfer? Do you prefer a game of tennis with a friend? Or is bowling your sport of choice? Whichever one you enjoy, keep it up! Sport is a great way to stay socially connected and being physically fit in your golden years can (among a host of other benefits) help prevent falls, which often result in hospitalisation and surgery in later life.
Whether you love the idea of taking photos of your surroundings or the creatures that visit your garden, or you prefer to play official photographer at family gatherings, photography is a wonderful way to explore your creativity and capture precious moments. It can be especially rewarding if you have a sound understanding of your equipment and the basic principles of digital photography. GetSmarter offers a 10-week Digital Photography online short course in collaboration with the University of Cape Town that helps you find your way around a DSLR (that’s short for digital single lens reflex) camera and offers mentorship from a professional photographer.
There are multiple benefits to walking in later life – and they’re not limited to your health. Walking regularly can help build muscle and bone strength, prevent weight gain, lower your risk for several serious illnesses, including heart disease and diabetes, help to prevent osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, and enable you to live independently for longer. It also helps to alleviate anxiety and depression – getting outdoors can boost your mood as you take in the beauty around you and enjoy the birdsong and sunshine.
It’s a partnership for life…
Evergreen Lifestyle Villages are designed to keep residents active, indoors and out. Each village boasts exquisite gardens complete with walkways, benches and ponds, while every house and ground floor apartment has a manageable, pet-friendly garden. Our inviting Lifestyle Centres feature open-plan lounges, spacious communal areas and dedicated games rooms – perfect spaces to join in regular card games, or find a golf buddy or tennis partner. There are also a number of clubs, societies and special interest groups that meet regularly to discuss everything from books and bird-watching to walking and wine.