It’s spring! Time for breezy days with open windows, blooming flowers, and no more winter coats. Spring is the perfect time for seniors to get out and breathe in the benefits of fresh air.
Benefits of Fresh Air for Seniors
- Vitamin D from the sunlight. Vitamin D helps reduce fractures and other injuries from falls since Vitamin D increases bone strength. Good news! It only takes about 30 minutes outside to get the daily recommendation.
- Opportunity for exercise. Walking outside in the fresh air is great for cardiovascular health. It’s important to keep those muscles moving!
- A boost in mood. Spending all winter cooped up indoors can make a senior feel discouraged, anxious, or depressed. Time out in the fresh air helps a senior’s mood improve
- Faster healing. Breathing fresh air brings more oxygen into the senior’s body which aids the healing process. The fresh air that is breathed in replaces the air that is exhaled and the toxins that go with it.
- More energy. All that fresh oxygen in the bloodstream also gives the senior more energy.
- Less stress. Part of what makes the fresh air so fresh is the natural scents of the blooming plants and trees. Scientific research has shown that the scents in nature are linked to lower stress and higher incidences of relaxation. When the senior is on his daily walk, make sure he takes time to stop and smell the roses or any other plants and flowers along the way. In a more urban setting, pull out some flower pots and plant your own flowers. Or make friends with some neighbors who have an urban garden.
- A healthy rhythm of awake and asleep. The fresh air and sunlight send clues to the body that it’s time for the body and brain to be active. Once the sustained period of wakefulness has occurred, the senior’s body will then produce melatonin, giving the senior a deeply restful nighttime sleep.
How Seniors can Get Fresh Air
The good news is that seniors can enjoy all these health benefits right outside their very own door—for free! Seniors can sit on the stoop for a couple minutes in the middle of the day or sit in a chair on the porch so it’s not so hard to get up and down.
Taking a walk around the block can provide a lot of these health benefits, but many seniors are fearful about walking alone in case there is a fall. Having a home health aide can provide safety and security not just for an outside stroll, but for the daily routine inside the home as well.
Riding to the grocery store or a doctor’s appointment provides short spurts of opportunity for the benefits of fresh air. Community Care of the Northeast provides the Wheels for Independence program which gives seniors access to being out and about.
Don’t let spring go by without enjoying the fresh air. Contact Community Care of the Northeast to find out how we can help seniors make the most of their lives while staying in their own home.