The weather is cooling off, but it’s not winter yet! Independent living activities can take place outdoors as well as indoors. You can take full advantage of the changing temperatures to try out these four outdoor exercises.
Hiking is an excellent way to get some exercise and enjoy the great outdoors at the same time. In the fall, you can see the emerging oranges, yellows and reds of the autumn leaves, so don’t forget to bring your camera. The Sierra Club said that seniors do well hiking under 6 miles and below 2,000 feet of elevation gain. Hiking can be a great full-body and cardiovascular workout, and it’s an excellent social experience. After all, as we’ve mentioned previously, when you engage in meaningful relationships you reduce levels of stress and are less likely to develop heart disease.
You might be inclined to think that high-impact exercises put too much strain on seniors, but a study published by the Department of Kinesiology and Nutritional Science at California State University found that the opposite was true. Seniors who perform aerobic exercise maintained levels of lean body mass, as opposed to sedentary individuals. Another study conducted by the John Hopkins School of Medicine found that running and jogging did not increase a person’s risk for osteoarthritis in the jogger’s hip and knee joints. As a safe exercise, jogging is a fun way to see your own neighborhood or explore local parks.
- Metal detecting
This isn’t strictly an exercise, but it will get your body moving. Now that beaches are emptying out for the season and the water is a little too chilly for swimming, it’s the perfect time to head out and scan the sands for hidden treasure. Like hiking, this is a perfect activity to do with a group – just make sure you share the haul with your friends. If you don’t know anyone else who likes to go metal detecting, you can find groups within your local community. According to National Geographic, some university archeology programs even recruit amateur enthusiasts to help out with scanning dig sites.
Most courses will stay open until the first snowflakes drop from the clouds, so there’s still time hit the green and get some fresh air while practicing your swing. The Harvard Medical School said that the amount of walking you will get while playing a round of golf is beneficial for heart health. You should take care to stretch before playing, especially if you’re carrying your own clubs. As with any exercise, take breaks when you feel the need, and drink lots of water.