Skip to main content

senior activities

Senior Activities: 4 Benefits of Staying Active

By Senior LivingNo Comments

Did you make a resolution to be more active in 2017? If you did, you may find yourself struggling to keep up with your goals. Depending on your geographic location, chilly weather and dangerous road conditions might be keeping you indoors, or you might just be feeling less than motivated to get up and be active now that the New Year energy has waned.

In the hopes of increasing your motivation to participate in more senior activities all year round, here is a list of four benefits of staying active in your senior years. You might be surprised to see how a little activity can positively affect many facets of your life and health. Here’s to getting involved with senior activities that you love—and new ones to appreciate—this year.

1. Staying Active Decreases Depression

Participating in your favorite senior activities can have significant benefits for your mental health. Besides the extra release of endorphins (the “feel good” chemical your brain sends out when you are physically active), there has been documented research that shows a correspondence between exercise and decreased depression in seniors. In tandem with medication and psychotherapy, consistent exercise of any type can be an effective part of depression treatment in seniors.

2. Staying Active Decreases Falls

Staying active, whether through neighborhood walks or range-of-motion exercises, can lead to a bevy of physical benefits that can lead to decreased falls. Consistent activity can lead to increased strength in the upper and lower extremities, which can make transfers safer and lessen the risk of a fall. Further, sustained exercise can increase endurance, improve balance, develop flexibility, and increase spatial awareness; each of these can work together to decrease the chance of a fall, even when a small trip may occur. With falls as one of the biggest health risks to seniors, you would be wise to decrease your chances by incorporating exercise into your daily routine.

3. Staying Active Increases Social Networks

Socialization is extremely important at any phase of life but especially with aging adults. A network of supportive and encouraging peers can lead to a higher quality of life for seniors. If you are able to participate in senior activities that are held in small or large group settings, do so! It is easy to make friends when you already have something in common or are going to see each other at weekly yoga classes. Socialization and friendships have been linked to decreased stress in seniors, along with feelings of belonging. Don’t miss a chance to make a new friend; consider participating in group programs.

4. Staying Active Increases Cognitive Health

Finally, adding exercise routines to your daily life that incorporate memorization or crossing the midline can increase your cognitive health and even slow down the progress of dementia. Activities such as dancing, yoga, and tai chi are excellent examples of cognition-boosting senior activities; don’t worry—you can still participate in these programs from a chair if you aren’t able to stand for the class.

Your favorite activities can keep you busy and provide benefits for all aspects of your life. Resist the temptation to settle in for a long winter’s nap; instead, choose to stay active for your health and happiness. And you just might make a new friend or find a new favorite hobby.



This article was written by Francine O’Neill. She has served as a clinical resource for resident care directors, overseeing ongoing quality improvement programs and regulatory compliance. She assists with identifying and implementing programs that enhance care delivery and service to our residents and their families. Francine has more than 20 years of experience in healthcare, serving in both clinical leadership and operations management positions across the continuum of care including assisted living, long term care and acute care. Francine’s favorite traits in others are COMMITTMENT and ACCOUNTABILITY.

It’s Spring…Get Outside! Activities to Enjoy this Spring

By Senior LivingNo Comments
Now that the weather is starting to get warmer and the winter chill is certainly gone, it’s time to get outside and get active! Here are some fun ideas to get active now that Spring has sprung.
  • Gardening! This is undoubtedly one of the best spring activities for seniors. Even if you have some limited mobility, modifications can be made to allow you to participate in many garden activities. Pulling weeds and planting flowers increases your physical activity levels by improving flexibility and endurance. Gardening has mental health benefits, too; it can relax you, reduce your stress and give you a rewarding feeling of accomplishment.
  • Start a daily walking routine. Walking is one of the best exercises for seniors, and spring is the perfect season to head outside and enjoy a walk through the neighborhood or nearby park. If you can, find a buddy to walk with to help make this a social activity you look forward to daily.
  • Start spring cleaning tasks. Did you know clutter can increase your stress levels? It’s true! Getting organized is a great spring cleaning chore, so take a few days and start going through the storage spaces in your home and clearing out some of the items you no longer need on a daily basis. You can even get family members to help and share memories as you go through your belongings. Plus, they can help you make some decisions about what to keep and what to donate, sell or throw away.
  • Enjoy a picnic in the park. Pack a picnic basket with some snacks, grab a blanket and find a grassy area to sit outside and simply bask in the sun to get some much-needed vitamin D (just don’t forget the sunscreen!). Or, enjoy lunch on your favorite patio at your senior living community or local restaurant.
  • Feed the birds. Bird-watching is a stimulating activity many seniors enjoy. Head to a park and feed the ducks and geese some cracked corn, or hang a bird feeder outside your window to enjoy watching them feast right in the comfort of your home.
  • Have fun with the grandkids. Children love being outside, so find some activities you can enjoy together. For instance, kite-flying or drawing pictures with sidewalk chalk.
  • Shop at a local farmer’s market. Spring is a great season to visit farmer’s markets in your area and wander through them, plus you can potentially get some great deals on fruits, vegetables, flowers or crafts.
What senior activities will you enjoy this spring?
Article: Courtesy of American Senior Communities. May 2016.