Maybe you were one of those children who had to be called and called (and called!) to come indoors for a meal or bedtime. Or maybe you were the kind who wanted only to curl up in a corner with a book until your parent said, "Go out and get some sunshine!" Either way, we now know the benefit of "playing outdoors" for both children and adults.
The daily routine of many seniors is… routine, and most of it takes place inside. Getting outside is one way to break monotony and explore new things, even if it's only for a brief time.
Listening to moving water, seeing green grass or watching the squirrels eat are ways to feel more alive. The added physical and mental exercise truly helps ward off cognitive decline and dementia.
Being out in the fresh air boosts Vitamin D. Exposure to sunlight helps the process of healing. Being outdoors for even a short period can improve sleep patterns.
Just seeing something new can be a distraction from the aches and pains felt while sitting at home. Exposure to the breeze and nature helps the entire nervous system. Motor skills and balance improve with increased activity, as does the energy level.
Taking a little walk can reduce stress and anxiety. Walking with a friend will provide even more stimulation, and while outside, someone new might appear: a neighbor, a friendly pet-walker or a friendly pet!
Concentrating on something farther away than the wall, like a neighbor's home, cars passing or a rustling tree can improve eye focus. Seeing changing vistas or different activities will provide something new to think about or to research later. What kind of bird was that? What are they building on Pear Street? How quickly the seasons are passing!
Enjoying the great outdoors can be a wonderful reminder than we are a part of something much bigger than ourselves. So, put on a hat if it's hot, or a coat if it's chilly, and "Go out and get some sunshine!"
Community Coordinator, Residence 600
600 E. Elm, Salina KS 67401
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