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Spring into Action Outdoors!

Winter can be long and grueling, especially for older Americans who stay inside for safety and warmth. But getting back outside once the winter is over is a great way to pick up your spirits, increase your activity, and recharge your energy. Studies show that exercising outdoors can also can relieve stress, fight depression, and build better mental health. Other health benefits of outdoor activity include:

  • Decreases in musculoskeletal pain
  • Decreases in urinary incontinence
  • Improvements in sleeping patterns

Now that the warmer weather is here, enjoy it—and build your physical and mental strength—while pursuing these outdoor activities:

  • Spend time working in your garden. Gardening provides a light workout that’s also a lot of fun.
  • Go for a walk with a buddy to admire newly budding plant life and playful animals
  • Try tai chi or yoga. They’re great, gentle exercises for older adults because they improve balance while strengthening the mind and body. And when the weather’s good, they can easily be performed outdoors.
  • Discover a new outdoor activity. Your Department of Parks and Recreation is an excellent—and inexpensive—source for ideas.
  • Visit a local park and explore designated paths

One important thing to remember, though: Sunlight’s vitamin D can help cheer you and decrease any feelings of depression, but it’s still important to protect your skin from harmful ultraviolet rays. Make sure you wear a hat or protective gear and apply sunscreen to keep your skin safe from sun damage.

For more resources, please visit:

Exercise & Physical Activity: Your Everyday Guide from the National Institute on Aging http://www.nia.nih.gov/HealthInformation/Publications/ExerciseGuide/chapter01.htm

Medline Plus, National Institutes of Health. “Seasonal Affective Disorder”
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/seasonalaffectivedisorder.html

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Last Modified: 12/31/1600

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