Spring is Here!
The sun is shining, the weather is warmer, and people are starting to shed their layers of sweaters and coats…that can only mean one thing. It’s Spring! As the temperatures rise and green hues come back to nature, it becomes the ideal time to venture outdoors, enjoy the fresh air, and take part in some activities!
As a kid do you remember being told, “Go outside and play!”? That was partially to get you out of the way, but being outside also has its health benefits. Studies have shown that spending time outside can reduce stress, increase serotonin (lifting your mood), and enhance brain function.
When you’re outside you are more likely to be more active, and that activity, whether it’s taking a stroll down the block or playing with your grandkids, builds your muscles, keeps your heart and lungs healthy and your bones strong. The sun also helps your body produce vitamin D which strengthens your bones.
Whether you are in a wheelchair, use a walker, are by yourself, or with friends and family there are plenty of opportunities to go outdoors and let the sun rejuvenate you. The weather outside is no longer frightful, so here are a few outdoor activities for you to enjoy!
Walking (Local or Nature Trails)
No matter your mobility going outside is still an option for you. Taking a walk through your neighborhood with your grandkids, finding new nature trails, strolling through local parks with your caregiver, or going out to your backyard are all activities that will still get you outside and allow the sun to shine on you.
A lot of towns begin to have outdoor performances in the spring, from bigger names to community bands, free dancing lessons to audience participation concerts, there are plenty of outdoor performances that might intrigue you to join them outside.
Some activities do wonders for the senses; going through the aisles of an outdoor farmer’s market is one of them. Take a journey to your local farmer’s market to enjoy the scent of flowers wafting through the air, the vibrant colors of the fresh fruit and vegetables, and conversation of the vendors.
Picnic with Friends and Family
Meal time is a must, so why not take it outdoors?! If the weather is cooperating, and the bugs aren’t too bad, having a picnic lunch makes it a great opportunity to enjoy the outside with friends or family. Picnics are also great occasions to bring along some simple yard games like bags, ring toss, Frisbee, and lawn bowling.
Those who are avid gardeners will tell you of the mental benefits it has to offer. In addition to the physicality of pulling weeds and planting flowers, gardening helps reduce stress and also gives a great sense of accomplishment. Modifications can also be made so that no matter your mobility you can participate in creating and tending to a garden.
Getting outside is a great way to encourage yourself to keep moving and be active. Remember to dress for the weather and keep a blanket or extra jacket handy. The sun can sometimes deceive you in thinking it’s warmer than it is and nighttime can bring about colder weather. Additionally, keep some sun screen on hand to protect your skin.
If you have a caregiver or family members, include them in your activities and ask for suggestions! Everyone can reap the benefits from enjoying time outdoors!