Many aging in place elderly Americans don’t get the exercise or social interaction they need during colder winter months. If you’re serving as a caregiver for an older loved one, getting them outdoors once spring arrives is vitally important for their continued mental health and wellbeing. If you can get a senior outside for some fun activities, the fresh air and invigorating sunshine will also benefit you as their caregiver. Fortunately, there are several creative ways to get a senior outside in the spring, starting with these.

How Being Outdoors Benefits Seniors

If your loved one has serious springtime allergies, you may want to avoid taking them outside on high pollen count days. Otherwise, being outdoors benefits seniors in so many ways, including:

Emotional

Staying cooped up indoors for months can exacerbate negative feelings like depression, loneliness and anxiety. On the other hand, exposure to sunlight and natural chemicals released by the trees, flowers and grass boosts one’s sense of wellbeing.

Vitamin D Synthesis

Many seniors have painful conditions like osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, and the body’s synthesis of Vitamin D helps alleviate that discomfort. The sun’s rays help stimulate more production of Vitamin D, which is a positive.

Cardiovascular

If your senior has lung or heart problems, indoor air pollution can make them worse. Studies have found that fresh air and light exercise promote better breathing, a stronger heart and other cardiovascular benefits.

Arthritic Knee Pain Relief

Arthritic knees and old age just seem to go together, while engaging in light exercise outdoors can help reduce inflammation, stiffness and swelling in those painful joints.

Fun Outdoor Activities for Seniors

Once the weather warms up, here are some fun and creative activities that you and your senior can enjoy together:

Picnics

Pick a beautiful park nearby and pack a healthy lunch for the two of you. Picnicking at the park means engaging in some lively conversation while soaking up the sun’s rejuvenating rays. You can even bring along your senior’s favorite board games to play after lunch is over.

Fishing

Who doesn’t like doing a little angling on a warm spring day? And, fish also tend to be more active in springtime. Find a nearby pond, lake or creek, or even head to the ocean for some pier fishing. If your senior has never fished before, it’s an easy activity for them to learn.

Gardening

A vegetable or flower garden requires ongoing care that includes watering, weeding and picking as the plants grow. And, how fun will it be to enjoy the tasty vegetables once they’ve ri