Welcoming the Start of Summer
Savoring the Start of Summer
It’s a change that happens seemingly overnight. All of the sudden, the air smells sweeter. The sky deepens to match the vibrancy of the flowers. Even the stars seem to twinkle with a little more panache. The start of the summer is something we look forward to year after year, and for seniors in particular, it’s the beginning of a season where they can get out and be even more active. At Benchmark, we encourage our residents to take full advantage of the beautiful weather and all the outdoor events and amenities available. After all, it’s been found that spending time outdoors benefits residents in four key ways: emotionally, cognitively, socially, and physically.
Think of the last time you spent an entire day outside. How wonderful did that feel? It’s been found that exposure to sunlight and fresh air can help improve mood and reduce stress and anxiety. So something like an afternoon stroll through a garden at one of our communities or a day trip to a nearby pond or park can do wonders for residents. Not only do outdoor activities like that boost mood, they can also provide a sense of fulfillment, which in turn boosts self-esteem and overall happiness.
Research has shown that exposure to nature can also enhance memory, attention, and overall cognitive function. These benefits are especially important as they can help keep the mind sharp and promote healthy aging. Activities like walking, outdoor games, or bird watching can provide mental stimulation and keep the brain active and engaged. Along with its cognitive benefits, gardening is also a great way to maintain flexibility and strength. For those with a perennially green-thumb, many of our Benchmark communities feature raised gardening beds primed for herbs, flowers, fruit, or vegetables.
Getting outside also opens up more opportunities for seniors to be social. Spending time outside participating in outdoor activities often helps them build relationships. Group exercise classes, outdoor concerts or plays, or outdoor craft shows are all great places to get to know each other. Our residents frequently bond over outings to nearby shops or trips to parks and walking paths. Meaningful connections can even be made by simply sharing a peaceful bench on a patio together. Sparking relationships between residents is especially important since socializing and interacting with others has been found to help prevent loneliness and isolation in older adults.
Of course, it almost goes without saying that many physical benefits are derived from being active outside during the summer. Outdoor games like bocce ball, cornhole, or croquet can provide seniors with fun, engaging ways to keep busy. Getting exercise through walking groups or outdoor yoga can also help reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes. These pastimes can also improve balance and reduce the risk of falls. On top of all these benefits, spending time outside provides the vitamin D that’s essential for maintaining a healthy immune system, bones, and muscles.
Get Out There and Enjoy!
Along with all the perks that come from spending time outdoors during the summer, it’s impossible to ignore the simple joy of being out among nature when it’s at its finest. At Benchmark, we’re here to encourage our residents to spend time outside doing what they love whether that’s playing shuffleboard, tending to an herb garden, or even just enjoying a scoop of fudge ripple in the shade. With a wide range of outdoor events and amenities available, we support all the healthy, fun, enriching ways our residents make the most of the season (with the proper sun protection!).