Get Out And Get Some Vitamin D
Updated: Mar 12, 2021
Few pastimes restore the body and soul like spending time in nature. Being outside does more than just lift your spirits; it also provides a boost for your physical and mental well-being. I have outlined some of the benefits for seniors who take time to enjoy the great outdoors.
Seniors who spend time outdoors may experience less depression and anxiety. Many seniors have lost the ability to drive, go to work or have any outdoor mobility. They spend hours and days indoors or have no motivation to go outside. Getting the opportunity get out and enjoy the smells, sounds and sights can improve anyone's mood. Taking a walk alone or with others creates more positive feelings and better mental health, along with lower levels of depression and stress. Adding a walk or an outdoor activity in the senior's regular schedule would be an added benefit.
Spending time outdoors may boost your memory. One study found a 20-percent improvement in attention span and memory after spending just one hour in a natural environment. More time spent outdoors resulted in even greater gains in memory, and it may improve creativity as well. Being outside can help increase levels of Vitamin D, which often is low among seniors. Low levels of this important nutrient are linked to pain in muscles and bones, inflammation, higher risk of Type 1 diabetes and several types of cancer. Getting sufficient Vitamin D can help reduce your risk of a number of physical ailments, including rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and heart attack. By spending just 15 minutes outside in the sunshine each day, you help your body receive the recommended dose of Vitamin D. Being outside may also improve your overall immunity by boosting your count of white blood cells, and the improvements may last for a week or more. In addition, time in nature may help you recover more quickly from an injury or illness.
No matter the activity, simply being outside and enjoying nature can provide a variety of benefits for a senior's your energy, creativity, and mental and physical well-being.