Although spending time outdoors is valuable all year round, autumn is an especially lovely time to sit in your favorite park with a friend, take a stroll around the block, or perhaps even join a local tai chi class. The temperatures are more comfortable, you don’t have to slather on dollops of sunscreen, and there’s no risk of heat stroke. Plus, who doesn’t appreciate the gorgeous fall foliage? Heading outdoors is a good idea for a variety of reasons. Don’t believe us? Scroll down to explore some of the benefits of spending time in nature.
Benefits of Spending Time in Nature
Improve Your Mental Health
Stepping outside may seem like a simple, inconsequential thing, but it can actually boost your mood and reduce anxiety, stress, and depression. A study published in 2020 found that spending time in nature helped senior participants enjoy healthy sleep patterns, reduce their anxiety, and increase their happiness. So if you’ve been feeling a little out of sorts, take a walk outside and let the fresh air work its magic.
Increase Your Energy
Sometimes energy production is counterintuitive. For example, because sleeping is the most crucial activity for energy production, you might assume that resting on the couch is better for your energy than going out and exercising. But in fact, walking can be even more beneficial than a cup of coffee if you need an energy boost! And where better to go for a walk than the great outdoors?
Boost Your Memory and Focus
According to a study performed by researchers at the University of Michigan, interacting with nature can improve memory performance and attention spans by 20 percent! This held true no matter what the time of year — whether on a sunny spring day or a frigid morning in the dead of winter. So if you’ve been experiencing some mental fatigue, head outside. Funnily enough, even looking at pictures of nature can help boost memory and attention. So if you’re in a pinch (perhaps it’s raining or you’ve recently injured yourself), grab a National Geographic magazine or watch a nature documentary.
How to Enjoy Nature Safely in Your Sunset Years
Traipsing out into nature can be a little tricky as you get older. To ensure that your outdoor adventures are both fun and safe, review the following checklist:
- Check with your doctor before starting any new physical activity.
- Choose a place that fits your physical abilities. For example, if you’re planning to go hiking, look online to see a map of the trail and find information about the terrain and elevation.
- Pack the essentials. For example, you may need to bring along water, a snack, sunglasses, or sunscreen. In addition, be sure that you dress properly and charge your cell phone beforehand.
- Let others know where you’re going. Consider asking a friend to join you as well!
- Listen to your body. If you don’t feel your best, cut the outing short and head home. You can always go back another time.
How will you spend time outdoors this season? You could go for a walk with your buddies, head to an apple orchard or pumpkin patch with your grandkids, watch a high school football game, take photos of colorful leaves, or simply enjoy your coffee outside on a crisp autumn morning. However you choose to enjoy the fresh air, we hope that you enjoy it!
Are you planning to retire in Greenville, South Carolina? Be sure to check out The Gables on Pelham, a continuing care retirement community that welcomes seniors from all walks of life. We offer flexible and personalized care, including assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing, and rehabilitation. You’ll love our cozy accommodations, fun-filled events calendar, and welcoming community atmosphere. To learn more, please schedule a tour or give us a call at 864-713-1377.