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[Article] Embrace the Summer: 5 Ways to Stay Active and Thrive

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Summer is a season that beckons us to step out, soak up the sunshine, and embrace the great outdoors. For older adults, maintaining an active lifestyle during this time is not only enjoyable but also essential for physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Engaging in regular physical activity can maintain independence, improve overall health, and enhance quality of life. Here are five ways to stay active this summer and embrace the season to the fullest.

Take a walk each day

Walking is a simple yet highly effective form of exercise that people of all ages can enjoy. It requires no special equipment, can be done at a comfortable pace, and offers numerous health benefits. It’s a great opportunity to explore local neighborhoods, parks, or nearby trails during the cooler parts of the day. Walking not only improves cardiovascular health and strengthens muscles but also provides an opportunity to connect with nature and enjoy the beauty of summer.

Try a water-based activity

Water-based activities are a perfect way for older adults to stay active and beat the summer heat. Swimming, water aerobics, or even walking in a pool are excellent low-impact exercises that put minimal stress on joints. These activities enhance flexibility, cardiovascular health, and muscle strength while offering a refreshing and enjoyable experience. Many community centers and local pools offer aquatic classes, making it easier to join like-minded individuals and even make new friends.

Spend time in the garden

Gardening is a wonderful way for older adults to stay active and connect with nature. It offers a range of physical movements, including bending, stretching, and lifting, that can help improve strength, flexibility, and balance. Seniors can start by planting flowers, herbs, or vegetables in their backyard or even in pots on a balcony or windowsill. There are also community gardens for those who do not have access to one of their own. Gardening not only provides physical benefits but also promotes mental relaxation and a sense of accomplishment as they witness their plants bloom and flourish.

Explore a new fitness class

Many fitness centers and community organizations offer specialized fitness classes designed for older adults. These classes often focus on activities such as yoga, tai chi, or gentle aerobics, which promote flexibility, balance, and overall strength. Attending these classes provides a structured environment, expert guidance, and the opportunity to socialize with peers with similar interests and goals. Prefer to try something new from the comfort of your home? Online fitness resources provide a convenient way for seniors to engage in virtual classes.

Participate in a group activity

This could include group walks or hikes, outdoor picnics, or even outdoor games like bocce ball or croquet. By engaging in these activities, older adults can enjoy the benefits of physical exercise while building and nurturing social connections. Being part of a community and sharing experiences with others is an important aspect of healthy aging.

Summer is a season of vibrancy and vitality, and older adults have many opportunities to stay active and thrive during this time. By taking daily walks, engaging in water activities, exploring gardening, attending senior-friendly fitness classes, and organizing outdoor group activities, older adults can embrace the season while reaping the physical, mental, and social benefits of an active lifestyle. It's never too late to start, so get ready to seize the summer and make the most of each beautiful day.

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  • Date

    Jul 14, 2023

  • By

    McMaster Optimal Aging Portal


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