As warm sunny days days kick into high gear, there are plenty of opportunities for your loved one to get outside and enjoy the beauty of summer. It is vital that seniors stay physically and mentally active. Seniors spending their days sitting for 10 hours watching television does not create the picture of health. So, let’s get a little creative and spark some summertime fun.

Not only is gardening fun, but it is also a fulfilling hobby that positively influences your mental and physical health. This low-impact activity is a great way to get out in the sun and contribute to the beauty around you. Gardening provides multiple benefits for seniors. Once a senior has become accustomed to it, growing food and flowers from the earth is quite captivating. Whether in a yard, box or pot, the satisfaction from growing is the same.

This outdoor activity draws seniors out of the house and into nature. For those who are not able to engage in physical outdoor activities such as hiking, birdwatching is a great way to engage in a physical activity while stimulating the mind. Naturalists, those who learn best in nature, thrive in the activity of birdwatching.

Summer squash are plentiful, bouquets of basil are everywhere and tomatoes are starting to ripen. It’s at this moment that you should be running to the kitchen to take advantage of the most bountiful time of year. Cooking is an incredible executive functioning skill. Cooking lessons are quite popular in assisted living homes and residents really enjoy sharing their delights with their fellow residents. Cooking is a great mental exercise because it, similar to music, activates the brain in multiple ways. Reading instructions is vital for recipe success. Listening to verbal instructions is central to preventing mishaps. Measuring is mathematical. And, last but not least, tasting is optimal.

Stretch it out
The practice of yoga has long been known to help people manage stress and anxiety, improve flexibility and coordination, support mental clarity, increase strength and promote overall physical health. Often, when we think of yoga activities, we envision young, able bodies stretching and contorting in difficult positions. The truth, however, is that yoga can be practiced by people of all ages and abilities and has become quite popular among the senior population in the form of chair yoga. You can even bring the activity outside and enjoy nature!

Model building
While not that common, model building can be a most rewarding activity. Seniors who enjoy model building become quite addicted to it. The challenge of it is intriguing and keeps one’s attention for elongated periods of time. Overall, model building is a rewarding activity that can also be shared with family members and fellow residents.

Staying active well into senior years is vital to thriving. The type of activity is not as important as participating in an activity. Physical and mental activity for seniors can seem an immense undertaking for the families of seniors. Perhaps a senior living home that offers this type of ongoing engagement is the best option for meeting their changing needs.