5 Amazing Benefits Of Seniors Spending Time Outside
In respect to the benefits of seniors spending time outside, being outside, taking in the fresh air, strolling through greenery, gardening, smelling flowers and herbs, strolling along the beach, trekking up a hill, and relaxing on a park seat in the sunshine all make us feel good.
We now know why spending time in nature makes us feel great and has specific health benefits for us as we get older. The benefits of exercise for elders are not the only ones, though.
5 Benefits Of Seniors Spending Time In Nature
Here are the top five, benefits of seniors spending time outside in nature:
Seniors benefit from gardening.
While there are numerous hypotheses as to why spending time outside makes us healthier, one popular theory centers on the beneficial impact that vitamin D has on our wellbeing. Numerous studies show that vitamin D helps prevent cancer, shields against heart disease, strengthens the immune system, and lowers obesity, inflammation, and hormone issues. The body can absorb vitamin D most effectively through sunlight, which is a natural supply of the vitamin. As a result, medical professionals now advise that seniors spend at least 10 to 20 minutes each day outside in the sunshine.
Walking in nature was proven to increase short-term memory by 20%, according to a University of Michigan study.
What’s more unexpected is that just viewing a photograph of a natural setting restored cognitive function. While strolling down a bustling city street showed no cognitive benefit, walking through an arboretum resulted in better memory and attention scores for study participants. As a result, many assisted living facilities provide residents with outside activities so that they can frequently engage with nature.
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3. Being around plants and trees strengthens the immune system.
Outdoor time is beneficial to your health.
Numerous studies, one of which was conducted in Japan and published in 2010 indicated that participants who spent even just one day in a park or forest had improved immune function. One element mentioned by scientists is s
tress reduction. After spending time in the trees, study participants’ cortisol, a stress hormone, as well as their heart rate and blood pressure, did decrease. However, they also had more white blood cells, which are known to strengthen the immune system. Scientists ascribe these advantageous effects to phytoncides, which are airborne compounds made by plants that appear to benefit people by assisting in the prevention and treatment of illnesses and diseases.
4. Going outside enhances energy and sleep.
According to studies, exposure to natural sunshine aids the body’s internal clock, which controls our eating and sleeping schedules, by regulating hormones and body temperature at particular times of the day. Serotonin is a hormone that the brain releases more of when exposed to sunlight. Darker lighting at night causes the brain to produce the hormone melatonin, which promotes sleep. This normal equilibrium in your hormonal levels can be off if you don’t get enough exposure to natural light during the day, which will have a bad effect on your sleep habits.
5. Depression, a well-known issue among the elderly, is reduced by going for a walk in nature.
Group walks in the outdoors were shown to be strongly connected with lower levels of sadness and perceived stress, according to a large-scale study carried out in England to evaluate the advantages of a national program that promotes them. Both before and after adjusting for confounders, individuals reported feeling better mentally after spending time in nature. Another study conducted in Holland and published in 2009 indicated that persons who lived within a kilometer of a park or a forested area were less likely to feel anxiety and despair than people who lived further away.
Even though they instinctively know that being outside feels terrific and can be reviving and therapeutic, elderly people who live alone frequently stay indoors. It could be difficult to get to a great place to enjoy the outdoors due to transportation issues, or it might not be enjoyable or inspiring to consider going for a stroll by yourself. Due to their lack of balance, many older people use walkers. They worry about being alone in case they trip or fall, and it can be challenging to bring the walker in and out of a home or apartment with stairs.
A more accommodating living situation for these seniors, such as assisted living, takes care of all of these issues by offering easily accessible outdoor areas that can accommodate wheelchairs and walkers, such as patios, porches, gazebos, and gardens, as well as supervised age-appropriate exercise programs like walking groups. Senior living facilities frequently have barbecues, events, and gardening activities outside when the weather is nice. Senior Living Residences, the firm I work for, lays a strong focus on giving its members opportunity to enjoy the outdoors. So, if your loved one spends more time at home than you think is healthy or stimulating, you might think about looking for a different type of living situation.