Spring is a beautiful time of year, with flowers blooming and temperatures warming up. It’s the perfect time to get outside and enjoy some fun activities with your older loved ones. Here are five ideas to keep their minds active and their bodies moving:
Take leisurely walks
Walking is a fantastic low-impact exercise that’s easy on the joints and can be done at any pace, indoors or out. It’s also a great way to socialize and connect with others. Many malls host walking groups and local organizations host outdoor group walks and hikes for various skill levels. Before starting a walking program, it’s important to talk to a doctor or nurse for advice. They can help you determine a safe distance and pace that will provide the most benefit without causing injury. Non-slip shoes and walking poles can also help with balance and stability.
Pro Tip: Make walking more enjoyable by exploring new trails or listening to music or audiobooks while you walk.
Gardening is a gentle activity that can be tailored to individual abilities. It provides many benefits for our minds and bodies, including releasing serotonin, a mood booster. Gardening can be a solo practice or a social event and can help us stay connected to others. Whether working side-by-side in a community garden or exchanging tips with a neighbor, gardening is a great way to share knowledge and learn new skills. Caring for indoor plants counts too, so even if you don’t have a yard, you can still enjoy the benefits of gardening.
Pro Tip: Make gardening more accessible by using raised beds or containers, which can be easier to reach and tend to than traditional garden beds.
Ready, set, bake
Baking can be a fun way to engage our minds and improve physical dexterity. It’s also a great way to revisit old favorites and try new recipes. From cookies to pies to bread, there are so many delicious recipes to choose from. However, baking may not be suitable for those with cognitive issues, as it requires attention to detail and following directions. To make baking more accessible, consider using pre-made mixes or enlisting the help of a friend or family member.
Pro Tip: Use healthy ingredients like whole grains, nuts, and fresh fruit to make your baked goods even more nutritious.
Take up photography
Spring is the perfect time to start a new photography project, capturing the first blooms of spring and the return of wildlife. Use the images to create slide shows or prints to display. Mobile devices make photography easier for people with arthritis, and there are many free apps available for editing and sharing photos. Photography is a creative and engaging way to exercise our minds and can be enjoyed alone or with others.
Pro Tip: Consider taking a photography class or joining a photography club to learn new skills and connect with other photography enthusiasts.
Spark joy with spring cleaning
Decluttering our homes not only gets us moving, but also makes our living spaces more pleasant and reduces the risk of injury from trips and falls. Put on some good music and take a critical eye to the items in your home. Invite a friend or family member to help (you can also engage a professional to help!). Giving away or donating some items can also feel good about helping others.
Pro Tip: Break decluttering down into smaller tasks and take breaks as needed to avoid getting overwhelmed.
In conclusion, there are many fun and engaging activities that older adults can enjoy during the springtime. Whether it’s taking leisurely walks, gardening, baking, photography, or spring cleaning, these activities can help keep minds active and bodies moving. Remember to always consult with a doctor or nurse before starting any exercise program.