Do you fall into the same category as many other elderly people, and prefer staying inside all the time? It could also be that physical exertion has become harder for you, and you have got into the habit of staying at home because it’s easier and more comfortable for you to do so.
How much time should you spend outside?
The experts say that you should spend around 2 hours outside each week to enjoy the benefits. This is ideal for those who live in the suburbs, have busy schedules, or live far from those green, quiet spots in nature. The main thing is though, that your life will improve dramatically, whether you spend a few hours a day, or every day of the week outside.
How do the elderly benefit from being outdoors?
Hippocrates, the most prominent figure in the history of medicine, stated centuries ago, that “Nature itself is the best physician”. How right he was! Even today, doctors encourage patients to spend time outdoors to improve their health.
Research has shown the wonderful benefits of outdoor activity for the elderly. Here are the highlights:
- Your vitamin D levels will increase, which can reduce your chances of suffering from depression, and contracting serious illnesses like osteoporosis and cancer.
- You will feel more content with your life – spending just 20 minutes a day outside will make you 64% more content with your life!
- Reduces inflammation naturally – inflammation is a symptom of a variety of health issues, including depression, autoimmune disorders, as well as cancer. Going for a walk in a forest can reduce inflammation significantly.
- Reduces high blood pressure – spending time enjoying the warm sun’s rays can actually help to lower blood pressure.
- Helps you to sleep better – time spent in nature helps everyone to sleep better, especially men over 65.
- Good for eyesight – recent studies show that the risk of children suffering from myopia/near-sightedness is prevented by simply spending time in nature.
- Improves your mood – being outside increases your mood in a positive way and makes you feel happier.
- Helps you lose weight – taking a walk in nature requires more energy, so you will burn more calories and lose that extra weight you might be carrying around.
- Nature is a natural pain reliever – spending time in nature reduces recovery time and pain after surgical procedures.
- Time outside is a great depression, stress, and anxiety reliever – studies conducted show that being in nature reduces cortisol, the hormone that causes stress, and also improves concentration, sleeping patterns, and memory disorders.
As you can see, all it takes to enjoy the 10 benefits mentioned above, is to include spending some time outdoors. This could be taking a leisurely stroll around your neighbourhood, having a picnic in your local park, or spending a couple of hours walking in a forest, whichever you prefer. Finding a suitable care environment with access to beautiful outdoor space is of great importance for you or your loved one. You can take a look at a care home North Devon here to see the impact that a vibrant, natural surrounding can make to quality of life.
Besides looking and feeling fantastic in your old age, you will be a happier person too, who will look forward each morning, to simply embracing nature and enjoying your life to the fullest!