Top 5 Healthy Springtime Tips for Seniors
After spending long, cold winter months indoors, the change of season into spring is often a welcome one, bringing more sunshine and warmer weather. For many, spring signifies new beginnings with its blooming flowers and longer days to spend outdoors in the fresh air. While seasonal allergies and the return of hot or humid conditions can bring some discomfort or change your mood, there are plenty of ways for older adults to enjoy social opportunities throughout the spring that support overall senior wellness.
Eating healthier and staying active can boost the moods of older adults in Independent Living. Keep reading to learn the top five healthy springtime tips to improve physical, social and mental wellness for seniors.
1. Eat Healthy Seasonal Produce
Some fruits and vegetables are available locally in spring, including asparagus, broccoli, strawberries, apricots, beets, cucumbers, collard greens, radishes, leeks, rhubarb and spinach. Seasonal foods are fresh, packed with nutrients and tend to taste better. Incorporating some of these foods into the daily diet can help reduce inflammation, provide valuable nutrients and immune-boosting antioxidants and improve your mood.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, eating healthy provides many benefits for older adults, such as helping them live longer, lowering the risk of heart disease and certain cancers, strengthening immunity and supporting proper digestion. Eating healthy can also reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, helping seniors better cope with seasonal changes.
2. Take a Walk
Exercising outdoors in a natural environment can help older adults feel more energized and revitalized. Research from the National Library of Medicine shows walking for about 30 minutes per day can reduce the risk of heart disease by 19%. It has many other long-term health benefits, including stress relief, lower blood sugar levels, weight loss and improvements in the immune system and joints.
Walking can also lead to better sleep, resulting in feeling more alert and awake during the day. If you're waking up every morning feeling refreshed, you may be more inclined to get outside and take advantage of the nice weather. This can create a healthy cycle that boosts physical and mental health. Soak up a dose of sunshine and fresh air in one of our outdoor courtyards at Aberdeen Heights.
3. Stay Hydrated
Drinking enough water, especially after exercising, can helps prevent dehydration. Adults 60 and older are at a higher risk for dehydration for many reasons, including natural drops in thirst levels and body changes. Drinking at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day is recommended, but even more may benefit seniors in the long run.
Any level of dehydration can negatively affect cognitive functions, such as memory, concentration, mood and reaction time. Drinking enough water can improve overall brain performance, stabilize emotions and increase energy, which can reduce tiredness and help seniors focus more. Hydration can also alleviate headaches and joint pain and help the heart function better.
4. Spend Time Gardening
There are many mentally and physically stimulating spring retirement activities, but gardening is one that has a range of health benefits. Gardening can combine physical activity with social interaction, making it ideal for boosting physical and social wellness for seniors. Movements used in gardening, such as digging, mowing and raking, are calorie-intensive and rival many gym activities.
Gardening also leads to more sunlight exposure, which can lower blood pressure and increase vitamin D levels. At Aberdeen Heights, Independent Living residents have access to a communal garden. The social component of communal gardening can lead to mental health and cognitive improvements. Connect with fellow gardeners to talk about favorite flowers, tomato growing tips and other good "dirt" on the growing season.
5. Participate in Physical Activities
As mentioned, being outside in the sun and warmer weather can positively impact overall physical and mental well-being. Participating in outdoor physical activities can help seniors maintain their health and socialize with others in their community. Aberdeen Heights offers numerous community activities as part of its wellness program, including croquet and shuffleboard.
When a break from the sunshine and heat is needed, our community also has an indoor pool with competitive water volleyball and aqua classes. This can help you cool off while still being active and socializing with others. To learn more about senior wellness and our fitness center, check out our National Senior Health and Fitness Day celebration on May 31.
Step Into Spring at Aberdeen Heights
Aberdeen Heights features a wide range of amenities and services that can help you meet your fitness or wellness goals and stay healthy throughout spring and other seasonal changes. Schedule a visit with us today or call us at (314) 394-8943 to talk with our friendly staff and tour our Independent Living community.