The benefits of being out in nature are well documented. There are numerous studies that show regular outdoor activity has a positive impact on everything from general health and well-being to dementia. But sometimes people struggle with finding ways to get outside and connect with the rest of God’s creation. Getting back to nature doesn’t always need to involve a weeklong getaway camping in the mountains. Check out five easy tips for enjoying nature as a senior below.
Probably the simplest way to get out in nature is also one of the most enjoyable — take a walk. Getting out into nature is about being outside and enjoying everything the outdoors has to offer, so what better way to do that than simply be outside. Taking a stroll through the neighborhood, walking in the park or even meandering down the street on a sidewalk all get you out in the fresh air.
The best part about walking is that it’s at your own pace. There’s no rush or pressure — just you and the outside world. You can stay moving or stop and look at the plants, trees, flowers and animals you find along your way. You don’t even have to go far; you can just stroll around in the gardens at Broadmoor Court assisted living community if you're a resident here, for example.
This is one that many people would overlook because it’s not something everyone remembers or knows exists as an option. Going to a local farmers market, orchard or farm to get fresh fruit and produce gets you outside and lets you pick out some yummy, healthy snacks. Outdoor farmer’s markets or farms that allow you to pick your own produce also let you enjoy the outdoors while getting some movement and socialization in.
Getting out and taking pictures of and in nature can be a great way to spend a relaxing morning or afternoon. Not only is photography an excellent hobby to pick up on its own, it’s also a fantastic way to support regular movement. That's especially true if you decide to specialize in nature photography. For example, maybe you want to collect as many pictures of different types of flowers as possible. To keep growing that photo collection, you'll eventually have to venture out into parks or locations further from you.
You don't need much to start a nature photography hobby. You can get started with a camera and nothing else. If you have a smartphone that takes pictures, that's all you need. Most smartphones have high-quality cameras that can capture crystal-clear images of your exciting nature finds and apps that let you play around with editing them some.
When you’re done, you can share the pictures and the experience with your neighbors or even online. Instagram, for example, makes a great platform for showcasing your nature rambles and pictures you might have captured.
As the weather turns warm each year, more and more places find ways to have music festivals and events outside. This can be a nice way to be outside but still be with a group of people. What’s great is that you can be as active or relaxed as you want in this kind of setting.
Colorado Springs offers plenty when it comes to outdoor music concerts and festivals. Check out Peak Radar online for a list of free summer concerts, including Classic Tuesdays at Bancroft Park. Every Tuesday through August 31, musicians from the Colorado Spring Philharmonic share classical music with audience members at this event. Rocky Mountain Food Tours has a similar list of free concerts seniors might want to peruse.
Finding a good spot in a nice grassy area surrounded by nature and enjoying some delicious food is the ultimate in outdoor delight. It doesn’t take much work before, during or after, but a picnic can be hours of outdoor activity in the right conditions.
What’s great about a picnic is that it can be done as a solo activity or with as many people as you want to involve. Perhaps you might want to take some of the other community members with you and make it a group event. That way, you could share some time with your Broadmoor Court neighbors while enjoying food and nature.
However you decide to get out and soak in the sun and fresh air, remember that it doesn't have to be a big deal. Yes, there's no age limit on hiking a mountain or taking a weekend fishing and tenting trip, so definitely feel free to do you. But if you don't want to sleep in the great outdoors or don't feel up to a major hike, know that simple options such as picnics and strolls are great too.