Summer is the time to bask in the sunshine and heat of the day. However, this season is often associated with youthful vigor, leaving seniors scratching their heads, wondering about things they can do to stay fit in the summer. Get some summer fitness ideas for seniors through this post.
As the world takes an unprecedented turn, the idea of summer seems so different, especially for seniors. Now is usually the time to take walks in the public park, enjoy afternoon movies at the local theater, or stroll in the mall for some carefree window shopping. However, things have changed drastically as summer begins again.
What’s even more challenging is the reported weight gain of many as people are forced to stay at home. The sedentary routine can make it difficult for seniors to stay in shape. Stuck at home–what’s a senior to do?
Here are some ingenious suggestions on how seniors can safely stay fit during the summer season.
Senior Summer Activities to Stay Fit
Indoor stationary bike
There are just so many benefits to owning a stationary bike if you’re a senior. First of all, stationary bikes are low-impact. This means that they go easy on your joints, and you can also adjust the difficulty level depending on your fitness.
Stationary bikes are a solid way to engage in cardiovascular activities without having to go outdoors. Biking lightly for an hour burns about 200 calories for someone who is 150 lbs. Compared to outdoor bikes, there is also a lesser risk of experiencing an injury. Just make sure to wear the right shoes and apparel even as an indoor biker.
It is interesting to note that indoor stationary bikes are also becoming popular in many drug and alcohol rehab centers for seniors as well. The accessibility of these devices helped senior patients to become consistent with their fitness routine.
Solo nature walk
In many states, seniors are not totally banned from going outdoors. However, they are considered high-risk if the area is crowded and there is a high risk of exposure.
Thus, a great summer outdoor activity for seniors is going to a solo nature walk in low-density areas. It could be a lesser-known park, a simple trail, or any other natural area that’s safe for seniors. There are many benefits of immersing oneself in nature, namely:
- It can control depression, anxiety, and other negative feelings
- It can improve cardiovascular endurance
- It can help in memory and cognitive skills
- It can boost one’s immunity
- It reduces the risk of cancer
There’s no better way to combine the benefits of nature and walking by trying out a solo nature walk. If you do need a companion, be sure to practice hygiene and social distancing measures.
Gardening sounds like a creative hobby, but it can actually keep you physically active. The manual labor of digging, bending over, carrying pots, watering, and transferring plants can burn as much as 400-600 calories in an hour. The great thing about gardening is that it can also boost your creativity and thinking skills as you do the heavy work.
Some gardening ideas for seniors include:
- Planting cress on small pots or containers: Cress are low-maintenance plants that grow fast. You can plant cress on eggshells, old balls, or empty containers that you may have.
- Miniature garden: You can use a large pot or container to have a mini-prototype garden. Use small flowers, succulents, or bonsai plants to create a mini-garden of your own.
- Colorful bouquets: If you plan to go soil-less, you can use flowers and plants and place food coloring on their water containers. You will notice that the plants and flowers will pick up the dye, making uniquely colored creations.
If outdoor heat seems unbearable, one great summer activity for seniors is indoor or shaded swimming. Swimming is also a low-impact cardio activity that’s perfect for the summer, and you can easily adjust your type of swimming style according to your level of skill.
Swimming is also considered a full-body workout. As you move your arms and legs by trying different strokes, you work every major muscle group while keeping your heart rate elevated. Swimming is also known to be a great de-stressor, easy on the joints, and can lower the risk of some diseases. Like indoor biking, swimming is also widely used in high-quality senior rehabilitation centers. Many seniors prefer it since they can get a good workout without feeling the heat and sweat of other fitness options.
Seniors Can Stay Fit In Summer
Whether indoors or outdoors, there is a myriad of options that seniors can do to stay physically active during the summer. With a little creativity and openness to try new things, you can still stay healthy while keeping safe during the hot months to come.
Guest Written by Patrick Bailey
Patrick Bailey is a professional writer mainly in the fields of mental health, addiction, and living in recovery. He attempts to stay on top of the latest news in the addiction and the mental health world and enjoy writing about these topics to break the stigma associated with them.