Blue Skies and Sunshine: 5 Ways Being Outside Can Benefit Your Health

Being Outside Can Benefit Senior Health

We know that getting exercise is good for our minds and bodies, but did you know that going outside in the sunshine can benefit us just as much? Being in the sun and fresh air can not only refresh our minds but it can help to make us happier and healthier, too.

Sue Sunderland, Executive Director at The Bridges at Warwick, a senior living community in Jamison, PA, states that getting outside is one of the best things that seniors can do for their physical and emotional health. “As we age, we may tend to stay inside more because of health issues that we have or because it is hard for us to make our way outside,” she states. “However, it is extremely important to spend time outdoors because of the various benefits that it has to offer.” 

According to Senior Editor, Laura F. Friedman in an article featured in Business Insider, there are many benefits to one’s physical and mental well-being that can be taken advantage of just by going outside. It is stated in the article that these benefits can range from an increase in positive thinking to an increase in Vitamin D, either way you look at it, being outdoors is beneficial in many more ways than one.           

5 Reasons to Get Up and Get Outside

  1. Vitamin D levels will increase. According to Harvard Health Publications, Vitamin D can be found to protect the body against osteoporosis, cancer, heart attacks and strokes, yet vitamin D is something most people lack. This can be changed by going outside for 10 to 15 minutes a few times a week while it is sunny. Just making this small and simple change could help you soak up these benefits.
  2. You’ll live a happier life. If you want to live a happier life, go outside. Anxiety and depression are known to be lessened when people spend time outdoors. This is believed to be because exercise reduces stress and refreshes the mind. Outdoor walks can keep major depression away, increase your level of self-esteem and help improve your mood.
  3. You may live longer. Because of the decrease in stress and thanks to the better overall mental health from being outside, the risk of early death decreases. By spending time outdoors, you restore your mind and body which “boosts overall health and longevity,” according to the article. If you want to live longer and have less stress, go for a walk or read a book outside.
  4. Healing time will decrease. Spinal surgery patients, according to a study by Harvard’s publication, which had rooms that were exposed to the natural light were more likely to experience less pain and stress during their recovery process. The study states that even though they were not outside, they still received the benefits from sun and, as a result, took less pain medication during their recoveries and shortened their recovery time.
  5. You’ll get more exercise. Just being outdoors is associated with activity, whether you are walking, gardening or even cleaning the yard. By making it a habit to go outdoors, you may be paving the way for less time in front of a computer or television and more time walking and being active.

“Not only will you gain all of these benefits from being outside, but you will also fight the boredom and loneliness that can come from being alone,” Sue states. What most people find difficult is starting the routine, everything after that is a walk in the park.

What You Can Do to Get Outside

  • Get the grandchildren and go explore. Get all of the benefits of being outside and make memories by spending a day outdoors with the grandchildren. Take them to the park or go with them to a zoo and turn it into an opportunity for quality time.
  • Take dinner outside. You don’t exactly have to be active outside to get the benefits of being outdoors. Just by eating on the patio and taking time to look at nature’s beauty, you can significantly decrease your depression and anxiety levels. Meet with friends and take your time, enjoy the warmth and fresh air.
  • Take up gardening. By creating a routine that consists of getting outdoors and being active, you are really doing two things that will benefit you: staying physically fit and soaking in all of the benefits of sunshine. Get your hands dirty and clear your mind.
  • Go for a walk in the courtyard. Walking through nature can not only restore your body and calm your mind, but it can also help you sleep better at night.
  • Move entertainment outdoors. If you have a weekly game night, try taking it out to the patio. Research shows that being outside can increase concentration and memory, this could significantly help your chances of winning the game. Bring up the idea of outdoor concerts or plays so you can enjoy the sun or consider hosting a book club outside. 

Make the Move to a Happier, Healthier Life

“At The Bridges at Warwick, we want our residents to be the happiest they can be,” according to Sue, “we strive to make your loved one’s days a celebration through our various clubs and fun activities to enjoy. Come get your hands dirty at our Home Grown Garden Club or relax on our outdoor terrace or patios, experience the fulfilling lifestyle our residents take part in every day.” 

Activity. Friendship. Support. Convenience. Value.

Now open, you’ll find it all at The Bridges at Warwick, located in beautiful Bucks County, where every day is a celebration of seniors. Our philosophy of “Celebrating Life” means that our residents enjoy a sense of purpose and contentment along with fun, personalized care and a focus on total well-being. 

Our Personalized Supportive Care provides just the right amount of assistance to help you remain independent, along with life-enriching programs, services and amenities. Our exclusive Vista Transitional Living Program is for our supportive care residents who have memory challenges but do not yet require a secure residence. For those whose memory loss is more advanced, we offer The Vista, our specialized, comprehensive memory care residence.

In keeping with our founder Robert Basile’s personal philosophy, developed during his efforts to find quality senior living for his beloved father, senior adults remain our passion. We fill our residents’ lives with countless opportunities to engage with both new and treasured friends; events and programs to enjoy with family members and loved ones; as well as innovative and creative activities that foster engagement. Our dedication to total wellness – for mind, body and spirit – is woven into our culture every day.

Contact us today or call 215.269.7745 for more information or to arrange a personal tour.

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