7 Benefits of Fresh Air & Sunshine: Forecasting a Healthy Senior Lifestyle

For many older adults, life’s circumstances make it difficult to get outside as much as they used to. Whether health conditions, mobility issues or lack of energy keeps seniors indoors, they’re missing out on the refreshing mental and physical health benefits of spending time in the fresh air and sunshine.

“Many seniors, especially those who live alone, often suffer from boredom and loneliness, which in extreme cases can turn into depression,” explains Polly West, Executive Director at Bridgepointe at Ashgrove Woods senior living community in Nicholasville, KY. “Yet when seniors get outside, take in the fresh air and feel the sun on their face, they are opening the door to a healthier lifestyle. Not only does being outdoors eliminate sluggishness and give us something to do, but it also paves the way for physical activity, social opportunities and overall well-being.”

Benefits of Sunshine and Fresh Air

Research shows that spending time out in nature is good for our bodies, minds and spirits. An article from Harvard Health Publications titled “A prescription for better health: go alfresco,” as well as studies published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, acknowledge the value of spending time out in the sunshine. Proven benefits include:

  1. Higher Levels of Vitamin D – Direct sunlight is our bodies’ main source of Vitamin D. Even just a few minutes of sun exposure a day can help increase your levels of Vitamin D, which has been known to help fight off osteoporosis, cancer and depression.
  2. Potential for Faster Healing – Spending time in the sun could help you get over an illness or injury faster. Studies show that those exposed to more natural light have quicker recoveries and experience less pain than those who were exposed to artificial light.
  3. Increased Physical Activity – When we’re outdoors, we’re more likely to engage in physical activities than when we are stuck indoors. Walking, cycling, gardening and other recreational activities work to keep us at optimal physical health.
  4. Breaks Through Boredom – Going outside can get your brain moving, too. Even if you simply sit outside or take a short stroll, the sensory stimulation that nature provides eliminates boredom.
  5. More Social Opportunities – Outdoor space allows seniors more opportunities to do things with others. In turn, spending time with other people boosts self-esteem and positivity, and it can keep us from feeling lonely and out of touch, which could lead to depression.
  6. Better Sense of Overall Health – Psychological studies link time spent out in fresh air and sunshine to a greater sense of vitality. Not only does being outside benefit you with more energy throughout the day, but vitality helps our bodies become more resilient to physical illness.
  7. Greater Feelings of Happiness – We have a natural connection to living things. When we’re out in nature, it’s easy to feel like we belong in our environment and foster a sunny disposition. As said in an article by the University of Rochester, “Being outside in nature makes people feel more alive.”

Ideas for Outdoor Activities

Fortunately, we’ll never run out of activities to do outside. Here are some easy ways for seniors to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air:

  • Go for a walk
  • Work in the garden or flower bed
  • Take reading material outside
  • Play or watch an outdoor game or sport
  • Invite friends on a picnic
  • Enjoy outdoor recreation such as parks, zoos, gardens or open-air concerts

Of course, being out in the sun does require some basic precautions. Be sure that you and your loved one wear sunscreen to protect from sunburns, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and avoid overexertion to reduce the risk of heat stroke.

A Breath of Fresh Air for Senior Living

“No matter how you or your loved spend time outdoors, you’re sure to be taking valuable steps in the direction of better health and happiness,” says West. “At Bridgepointe at Ashgrove Woods, we integrate outdoor activities into our life-enriching programming to give our Assisted Senior Care and Memory Care residents a boost of energy and help them reap nature’s benefits. From strolling through our secured gardens to enjoying lunch on the patio to chatting with friends in the sunroom, there are always opportunities to get out and soak up the sun.

“Our approach to care is unique. Using the Best Friends™ Approach, we get to know each resident on a personal level, then use our knowledge of their interests and preferences to develop individualized care plans. So, for example, if a resident took care of a garden his whole life, we can create opportunities for him to put his green thumb to use. If another resident is an avid birdwatcher, we can install feeders and accompany her on walks around our community to persue her hobby.

“At Bridgepointe at Ashgrove Woods, there are no limits to living life the way you desire. We provide every resource for fulfilling, meaningful and joy-filled days.”

Live Life to the Fullest at Bridgepointe at Ashgrove Woods

Bridgepointe at Ashgrove Woods is a Christian Care Community offering assisted senior care, memory care and adult day services. Located in Brannon Crossing, one of central Kentucky’s most desirable areas, Bridgepointe was designed to help families grow closer as they grow older.

At Bridgepointe, residents enjoy the privacy and dignity of living in their own apartment as well as the peace of mind that comes from the support and assistance of a special team of caregivers. In short, we help our residents live life to its fullest.

Our community is designed to promote activity, interaction, socialization and enjoyment. We offer a variety of engaging activities daily, from yoga and tai chi to gardening and arts and crafts. At Bridgepointe, there’s never a dull moment and always something to do!

Discover a rich and fulfilling lifestyle combined with personalized care and support delivered by a team of experienced professionals … all within a secure, elegantly appointed community.

We invite you to visit today and discover how Bridgepointe at Ashgrove Woods can change your life for the better!

To learn more, contact us today!