Looking to take advantage of warmer temperatures and longer days? If you are a senior in a fitness rut and you are looking for more fun in the sun, don’t miss this quick spring fitness guide:
Spring-Inspired Fitness Ideas
While you may feel like a rock climbing or surfing adventure is out of the picture at your age, there are still loads of outdoor activities that are fun and can help you stay in shape including:
Hiking – not only has walking in nature been shown to boost moods and alleviate stress, the very nature of hiking offers several health benefits for seniors. Hiking over uneven terrain exercises your strength, coordination, and agility skills. It also can burn over 400 calories in one hour, and serve as a fun social activity in which to interact with friends.
Outdoor Yoga – connect with the fresh air, sights, and sounds of vibrant spring scenery with an outdoor yoga session in a nearby park. Yoga practice continues to prove to be a key instrument in promoting senior longevity, improving flexibility, strength, and breath control.
Swimming – few low-impact activities offer the muscle, coordination, and breathing workout swimming does, and it’s super easy on the joints. Take your indoor swimming hobby outdoors with a trip to the beach, lake, or nearby water hole. Even better, hike to a scenic waterfall and go for a dip!
Volunteering – spring into service with physically active volunteer hobbies that test your strength and stamina. Help out at a community garden, walk dogs for the local animal shelter, volunteer at a summer camp for kids, or help sort and stack boxes at the food bank. Bonus idea: sign up to walk at a charity athletic event like a 5K or walk-a-thon; exercise and support a cause you care about.
Playing with your grandkids – get out and about with your grandkids as the weather allows for more picnics and frisbee, flying kites, riding bikes, you name it! Kids definitely keep you young, and what better way to spend time together, make memories, and give your health a little boost.
Spring Fitness Checklist
When it comes to exercising outdoors and staying safe, don’t miss these expert hints and tips:
Wear sun protection – while melanoma is one of the more common cancers in young people, did you know your risk increases with age? In fact, the average age when people are diagnosed is 63. When spending time outdoors, don’t forget to wear sun protection in the form of sun blocker, hats, sunglasses, and breathable, long-sleeve clothing.
Support your feet – whether you’re hiking, gardening, or participating in a walkathon, your feet will be the primary source of support for your outdoor adventures. Take care of them with regular footcare, stretching, proper-fitting walking shoes, and wearing orthotic aids like plantar fasciitis insoles with deep heel cups for more comfort.
Stay hydrated – did you know that as you age, your sense of thirst actually diminishes? It can be easy to stay busy outside and forget to drink water regularly. Dehydration can quickly cascade into dangerous health complications so always keep a reusable bottle of water handy and eat water-rich foods like fruit smoothies, cucumbers, radishes, tomatoes, and green peppers.
Watch the weather – a bright sunny April morning can quickly turn into a windy, stormy afternoon. Before you head outdoors for extended periods of time, monitor the forecast to make sure there aren’t any inclement conditions in your near future and to dress appropriately (i.e. bring a light jacket if the temperature is dropping).
Monitor allergies – seasonal allergies aren’t just annoying; if left untreated they can lead to serious respiratory problems, sinus infections, and colds. If you suffer from allergies, talk to your doctor about medicine that will help keep you sneeze-free while you enjoy yourself in the great outdoors.
Eat well – one of the best ways to make the most out of your newfound love of outdoor exercise is to supplement your fitness with a vibrant, rich diet full of fresh spring-inspired foods! Colorful vegetables from summer squash to avocados, carrots, eggplant, peas, asparagus, and artichokes to fresh fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes all make for a nutrient-rich, plant-based menu that supports a healthy body (and waistline).
Most importantly, remember to have fun and try something new. Spring is all about rebirth and rejuvenation, and what better way to experience the exhilaration outdoor adventure has to offer than checking a spring-inspired activity off your bucket list.