Outdoor Exercise Ideas For Seniors

Sunrise Senior Living  |  July 1, 2016

Fresh air and warm weather make exercising easy and enjoyable. Heading outdoors is one of the best, most rewarding ways for seniors to get some physical exercise. There are a number of different options, meaning getting out and getting active is simple and exciting.

Some older adults may join a recreation group or look for a structured activity to get regular exercise. Those are fantastic pursuits, but there are many other ways to enjoy the spring weather and do some physical activity for free. Here are just a couple of ideas for getting the blood pumping outdoors.

Walk it out
Walking is a great activity for seniors because it is low-impact but still provides many health benefits. The Mayo Clinic found that regular walking is good for reducing the risk of conditions like heart disease and diabetes, keeping the body physically strong and can even improve balance and coordination.  

Whether you chose to walk alone or with a friend or group makes no difference, and you may decide to explore your neighborhood, head to a nearby green space or even a high school or community center track. If the weather becomes rainy or cool, you can head to the mall or a local gym and still get your regular exercise.

Hit the pool
Swimming is another fantastic way to stay active. During the winter, seniors that are dedicated to staying in shape may decide to join a community fitness center or other facility. During spring and summer, however, swimming in a public pool or at a family member's house is a relaxing but incredible way to get exercise. Like walking, swimming is a low-impact activity, meaning it likely won't exacerbate any existing problems. It can also be done at any pace and you can chose how much or how often you decide to go swimming. 

Pools are also great for other activities like water aerobics. Health Fitness Revolution reported that this activity has a number of benefits, especially for seniors. It can increase muscle strength and flexibility, but also have a positive impact on arthritis, blood pressure and joint problems. 

Bring exercise equipment outdoors
Some seniors may still enjoy lifting weights and doing traditional exercises. These are great endeavors, and for anyone who wants to stay buff but also get some fresh air, bringing your weights out into the yard or to a public park is the perfect compromise.

A gym is a great place to get in shape, but during the summer these facilities can get hot and stuffy. By heading outside, you can enjoy the nice weather and still get a good exercise.

Enjoy some yoga
Another activity that can be easily done outdoors is yoga. Some classes may even hold sessions at a neighborhood park during the spring or summer. Other seniors may chose to practice yoga alone or with a friend, in which case bringing your mats to the backyard is all it takes. 

Other calming exercises like tai chi are also great to practice outdoors. Both can be calming activities in and of themselves, and when paired with a gentle breeze and the gentle melody of song birds, the results are spectacular.

Run around with the grandkids
For seniors that can keep up, spending time with your grandchildren is another fun way to enjoy the outdoors and still get a bit of exercise. Playing a game of tag or basketball will keep you feeling loose and limber, and you will be able to make a memory in the process. Even just going for a walk with your grandkids is an excellent way to pass an afternoon while also enjoying some fresh air.

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