It’s summertime and the senior living is easy.
The season offers older adults plenty of opportunities to live life to its fullest when you know where to look. Our three simple tips can help you stay active and engaged this summer, kicking even the most serious case of the summer blahs.
1. Settle into a comfortable deck chair with a good read.
To stay in the top tier of senior wellness, you need to exercise your body and your mind. “You use it, or you lose it” is an adage that holds true for both physical and mental fitness.
However, it can be just as difficult to find the motivation to work out your brain as it can be to get to the gym or health center. Puzzles and number problems can get tedious, but you can indulge in one of life’s simple pleasures and work on your brain fitness at the same time.
Immersing yourself in a stimulating read can promote brain fitness on a number of levels.
- Keeping track of the threads of a plot exercises your short and long term memory.
- The simple act of following the flow of words in a sentence and paragraph keeps your language centers engaged.
- All the best reads rouse your ability to reason and test your critical thinking abilities.
If you’re looking for a few volumes to page through while you’re enjoying the balmy weather, AARP has a summer reading list that will take you through all the season’s best books.
2. Experience the rejuvenating effects of sunshine.
Summer is the perfect time to take senior living out of doors—as long as you’re smart about sun exposure.
While too much direct exposure can have damaging effects on senior wellness, causing skin cancer and rapid aging of skin, a moderate amount of sunlight can work wonders. Sunlight is one of the best sources of vitamin D which is instrumental in maintaining both physical and mental wellness for seniors.
Bones don’t form properly without a sufficient amount of vitamin D, and having strong bones can help prevent older adults from suffering from a fall—the number one cause of debilitating and life threatening injuries in Americans over 65.
The sunshine vitamin also promotes wellness in a number of other ways:
- Low levels of vitamin D are thought to contribute to memory problems, so getting enough vitamin D can help you maintain brain fitness.
- Vitamin D is instrumental in helping your body fight a number of chronic conditions like heart disease and Parkinson’s.
- As an added bonus, getting enough sunshine can lead to a general sense of wellbeing and better motivation to stay active.
All you need is about 15 minutes of sunscreen-free sunbathing a few times a week to start feeling the positive effects.
3. Get involved in your local park.
Participating in events and activities within a dynamic community can provide opportunities and experiences that will enhance and enrich your senior living.
- Staying active within a community of peers or like minds keeps spirits up and creates an optimistic outlook on life that can help forestall mental decline.
- Community engagement promotes a sense of purpose and belonging that plays a significant role in maintaining mental wellness and general wellbeing.
If you take your activities out of doors, you’ll be getting a one-two punch for senior wellness. You can soak up some Vitamin D while you connect with others.
Join up with a nearby senior center to connect with your peers or look for outdoor events right in a local park. Parks season kicks into full swing during the summer, and every day offers a new opportunity.
Try joining a park-sponsored hiking group. You can form fast friendships, get your regular dose of sunshine, and stay in shape all at the same time!
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