At long last, winter has come to a close and spring is finally in full swing. For those who suffer from seasonal affective disorder, or as it is sometimes dubbed ‘the winter blues’, this time of year is long awaited. Many are ready to get back out and about doing the things they love. While people of all ages can benefit from spending time outdoors, it is especially important for seniors who reside at assisted living near Macomb, MI.
So, are there any benefits to spending time outdoors? While some might seem obvious, such as improved physical health and the mood boost that comes with a quite literal breath of fresh air, you might be surprised it goes deeper than that. Keep reading to learn more!
1.) Vitamin D Boost
We are all probably familiar with Vitamin D and how it helps our overall health, but the real question is: do you get enough of it every day? While our bodies can only absorb so much of each of the vitamins and minerals we need, if you aren’t spending time outdoors, you are probably not getting all the Vitamin D you need. Vitamin D is essential, especially for seniors, as it can help to strengthen bone health, fight osteoporosis, and even prevent cancer.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to stay out in the sun for hours on end to reap the benefits! Even 15-20 minutes outside can provide you with what you need for the day. So lace up your sneakers, grab the leash, and take the family dog on a walk around the neighborhood. If you are fair-skinned, note that sunscreen doesn’t prevent you from absorbing this helpful vitamin, so feel free to put on an even coat before heading out!
2.) Improved Mental Health
Spending too much time indoors and sedentary can be detrimental to your mental well being. Seniors who participate in outdoor activities are less likely to suffer from depression and anxiety, and that includes those who live in assisted living near Macomb, MI. Being out in nature can boost one’s serotonin levels, leaving them happier and more energetic. Take a stroll with a loved one, sit out on the patio to enjoy lunch with friends, practice photography while out on a nature trail – anything that gets you outside is a good thing!
3.) Improved Physical Health
Apart from the mental health benefits, going outside is good for our bodies! One common concern for seniors is loss of muscle mass, which can lead to frailty and increased fall risks. For those who suffer from conditions such as heart disease, arthritis, or asthma, exercise can be a very good thing to help alleviate some of the symptoms. Again, you don’t have to head outside and train for a marathon! But even thirty minutes of light exercise each day can make a big difference.
4.) Stronger Immune System
As we age, we can become more susceptible to illnesses such as the flu or common colds. To avoid this, we need to find natural ways to boost our immune system. One solution is by spending time outdoors. Not only does it give us a sunnier disposition, but it can also increase our white blood cell count. White blood cells play a key role in fighting off infection!
5.) Combat Mental Fatigue
Do you know that feeling that you get at the end of the day where it seems as though you just can’t process any more thoughts and you’re all around overwhelmed? That feeling has a term, and it’s called mental fatigue. While just about anyone can be faced with mental fatigue, it is especially common for seniors, including those with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
One of the best ways to combat this feeling is by going outside. Whether you’re a resident at assisted living near Macomb, MI or you still live at home, when you’re facing mental fatigue, go enjoy a pleasant environment. It’s not just a cliche – a bit of fresh air can really help us to refocus!
6.) Lower Stress Levels
Despite being in retirement, seniors can still face a lot of stress. Even a positive transition in life can make us feel stressed out, as changes often bring about these emotions. One of the best ways to decompress and relax is by going out in nature. According to research, this is due to the fact that sunshine can increase our blood flow to the brain, which in turn creates more serotonin. And who doesn’t want more serotonin?
Not only that, but sunshine is actually capable of triggering the different cells in our body to communicate with each other. When this happens, our bodies perform routine functions better, which bolsters our overall health and wellbeing. That is a win-win situation all around!
7.) Better Sleep at Night
If there is one thing that is true, Americans don’t get enough sleep. Seniors are no exception to that! As we age, our sleep patterns can change which could lead to a decrease in our overall quality of rest. Over time, poor sleep can lead to the development of certain health issues, including heart disease, cardiovascular disease, drastic weight gain, depression, and more.
However, spending time outside can help to combat that! Exposure to sunlight can actually help our circadian rhythm. Too much time sitting in the dark can throw our bodies out of balance and interrupt the natural flow of our sleep and awake cycle. Not only that, but getting up and moving helps to tire us out properly and naturally so we are better able to lay down at night and immediately get some rest.
Assisted Living Near Macomb, MI
If you are ready to transition to a beautiful assisted living community with a lot of opportunities for outdoor activities, then look no further than Oakleigh of Macomb. Our location in Michigan is near many gorgeous parks and lakes, meaning that an outdoor adventure is always just a quick trip away.
For any senior who is an animal lover, our pet-friendly senior community also allows you to have your favorite furry friend by your side. Pets make excellent companions and are great motivators for getting outside and moving.
If you’re ready to make the move, don’t hesitate to contact us today!