Spring is a time of activity and new life. It’s also a great time for seniors to renew their interest in activities they may have missed out on over the winter.
Here are 8 wonderful ideas for spring activities for seniors…
1. Take a Walk
You’ve probably heard it a thousand times – walking is good for you. It increases cardiovascular fitness, strengthens muscles and bones, and can help prevent a myriad of diseases and chronic health conditions.
Walking is a great activity for people of any age and almost any fitness level. It can be done alone but is even more enjoyable when you find a walking buddy to stroll with. You will keep each other committed to the exercise and hopefully build a great friendship.
Don’t fret if you don’t have a walking partner. Ask at your local senior or recreation center if there is a walking club in place. If not, you could always ask if anyone is interested in starting one. That in itself is a step in the right direction.
2. Plant a Garden
The accomplishment you feel when you are able to nurture a plant to produce flowers or vegetables is worth the effort you will put in. Besides, gardening doesn’t have to be all work and no play.
The routine and fresh air involved in tending to a garden space, even a small one or container garden, can do wonders for your physical and emotional wellbeing.
Try planting a tomato plant in a large flower pot or planter by your favorite outdoor seat. You can easily tend to it in minutes a day and then enjoy fresh tomatoes throughout the summer months.
Maybe you prefer flowers? A hanging basket outside your window can help bring some of the beauty of outdoors to you even when you are inside.
3. Volunteer at a School
Most schools love to have volunteers help out in classrooms, read during story time, or just to sit with kids during lunch. Call your local school district to ask about volunteer opportunities.
Being around children just might bring out the kid in you, and you’ll feel good knowing you’re helping a child get a great education.
4. Take a Tai Chi Class
Tai Chi is a gentle and relaxing exercise that is actually a form of martial arts. Besides being relaxing and fun to do, it has many benefits for your health.
One of those benefits is that is has been shown to reduce your risk of falling. It has also been linked to reduced pain, lower blood pressure, and a general sense of wellbeing. Because of its growing popularity and accessibility, Tai Chi classes are offered at many senior and recreation centers.
Check around to see if you can take a trial class somewhere to see if it is a good fit for you. The slow pace and gentle movements may have you rethinking your views on martial arts.
Just like with walking, if you have any health concerns, it is always a good idea to check with your doctor before beginning a new exercise program.
5. Enjoy a Local Park
Today’s modern parks aren’t just for kids. You might find adult swings, outdoor exercise equipment, and paved and accessible walking paths.
Some parks have game courts for fun (possibly even intergenerational) games like bocce, shuffleboard, and horseshoes.
No matter your age or ability level, you can find something to enjoy at a local park. And, parks are available in cities, suburbs, and rural areas alike. In fact, some places have even started mini-parks in downtown areas to encourage people to sit and relax a spell.
6. Visit a Local Attraction
The staycation has become increasingly popular, and many local attractions are getting in on the action. Ask around about any local historical sites, museums, art galleries, or agritourism sites. You may be surprised how many small businesses offer tours of their operations if you just ask.
Historical sites are a fun, hands-on way to learn about the history of your area. Depending on the area you are in, you might be able to tour old houses, ride a steam train, visit a restored mine, or see how factories were run at the turn of the twentieth century.
Some areas offer themed suggestions for tours, such as a wine, cheese, or pottery trail. These are great options if you really just don’t know where to start. Because they are close by, you can visit these attractions on small trips.
This allows you to tour at your own pace, and rest as you need to throughout the visit. That is a key reason that local attractions are great spring activities for seniors.
7. Try a New Class
You are never too old to learn something new. Have you gotten a new smartphone or tablet and still haven’t gotten beyond turning it on?
Maybe you’ve been thinking about taking an art class, or even learning basic auto mechanics. The spring is a great time to learn a new skill that you can practice all summer long.
Check with community colleges and local senior or recreation centers for upcoming class schedules. Some universities even allow seniors to audit classes for the cost of supplies only. You may not get a degree that way, but you will still gain some great new knowledge.
8. Connect with an Old Friend
This is something that, all too often, we let fall by the wayside. Don’t let another year go by without reconnecting with old friends that you haven’t heard from in a while. Instead reach out with a note, card, or phone call.
Good friendships offer an incredible amount of support through trying times and are a great outlet for sharing news, both good and bad. Unfortunately, it is easy to take these friends for granted or to let life get in the way of your time together.
This spring take the time to nurture those relationships instead. You’ll be rewarded with hours of reminiscing and talking about the good old days.
Try Something New Today!
So go ahead, try one of these 8 spring activities for seniors. Who knows? You may just find your new favorite hobby or realize how much you’ve missed your roommate from college.
You’re only limited by your imagination. If there is something you have always wanted to do but haven’t gotten around to it – now is a great time to revisit the idea.