Summer Bucket List for Senior Health
Are you an older adult looking to take control of your health? No better time to ramp up healthy living than during the warm summer months. Don’t forget to add these health conscious (and fun!) activities to your summer bucket list today:
Coloring, at your age? Absolutely! The coloring fad continues to trend among older adults as it’s proving to help you de-stress, tap into your creative side, and aid in preventing cognitive decline. Like with knitting or origami, coloring helps you practice your fine motor skills which strengthens communication channels between brain cells and fights dementia. Coloring also serves as an artistic outlet that helps you concentrate positive thoughts on something creative and beautiful. Download free printable coloring sheets online, like at DailyCaring.com, or look for adult coloring books in your local big box store or on Amazon.
Millions more seniors are trying their hand at yoga than ever before according to Yoga Alliance. Yoga is a proven back pain reliever, blood pressure reducer, stress alleviator, bone builder, and muscle strengthener. And it’s not the pretzel bending exercise you might make it out to be. Yoga for seniors involves gentle, flowing stretches, deep breathing techniques, and mindful meditation that also combats cognitive decline. From beginners yoga to restorative and even chair yoga, there are tons of different types of practice that benefit seniors of all ages and abilities. Check with your local senior center or YMCA to see what senior yoga classes are available near you.
Become a Mentor/Tutor
Keep your mind sharp and your focus clear by spending your free time mentoring, tutoring or giving lessons this summer. Big Brothers Big Sisters of America provides resources to adults looking to become a mentor to a youth in their area, while sites like Chegg.com and Tutor.com connect you with students in need of some summer school help. Tutoring or giving lessons (like tennis or guitar lessons) can be done on a volunteer basis or for a paid fee – it’s up to you, that might be a nice way to pad the budget for your summer travel!
Make giving back to your community a regular fixture of your weekly summer schedule, whether it’s donating time at a charity re-store, helping stock the pantry at a local food bank, or walking dogs for the animal shelter. Volunteer jobs not only encourage you to get out of the house and socialize, but they can involve heart-benefitting physical activity as well boost your overall mood and feelings of positivity. One study even found that adults over 50 who volunteered regularly were less likely to develop high blood pressure than their non-volunteering counterparts. Find volunteer opportunities near you with sites like CreatetheGood.org – search based on zip code and interest.
Cook a New Recipe
Looking to enhance your diet this summer for a healthier, stronger you? There is no better time to try a new, healthy recipe than during the summer months which are ripe with harvests of delicious whole fruits and veggies. Try something trendy like cooking with coconut oil instead of butter, which is proven to give your brain faster energy and combat diabetes. Make a dish with the fiber-rich high protein grain, quinoa, or incorporate flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, or chia seeds into your smoothies and salads for that extra boost of Omega-3s.
Go On An Adventure
Nothing turns routine exercise into FUN like an outdoor adventure. Summer is the perfect time for hiking, kayaking, standup paddleboarding, and swimming with friends and family. Whether you trek to the beach or nail trails in your own area, don’t forget to stay hydrated, wear sunscreen, and take friends to join in the fun with you. At least 30 minutes of exercise a day, especially over the age of 50, has shown to help prevent heart disease, osteoporosis, and diabetes as well as alleviate arthritis and back pain.
Join a Charity Athletic Event
Boost your calorie burn and support a cause you care about by signing up for a charity walkathon or fun run near you. Outdoor charity events are fun for the whole family, including your kids and grandkids, and typically donate most to all of the proceeds from registrations to a local or national nonprofit. Not sure how to find an event near you? Follow your favorite nonprofits on social media and join their mailing lists to learn more about upcoming events, or use Active.com’s free search tool to find a charity race event near you.
No matter what you end up doing this summer, staying active, eating right, and helping others will always benefit your health. So what are you waiting for?