Connecting with Nature: Outdoor Exercises to Get You Moving
As a child, you likely spent hours outdoors. Whether you rode your bicycle around the neighborhood, spent the day at the local swimming pool, or played outdoor sports, you were able to enjoy all the benefits that nature has to offer.
However, many of us don’t spend enough time connecting with nature as we get older. But spending more time outside benefits your mental and physical wellness through vitamin D, fresh air, and much more.
At Village Green Senior Living, opportunities for connecting with nature are part of what makes our Washington senior living communities so unique. From gorgeous walking trails to beautiful gardens, we make it easy for residents to get outside and reap the benefits of nature.
Beyond simply relaxing in the sun, simple, low-impact exercises are perfect for doing on a beautiful summer day!
Tai Chi is a practice often called “meditation in motion” and first originated in China as a martial arts practice that combines traditional medicine and philosophy. This gentle form of exercise utilizes slow movements and low-impact actions that allow you to focus on your breathing and sensations, making for a mindful experience.
Studies have shown that when older adults participate in Tai Chi, they develop balance, strength, flexibility, accuracy, and aerobic stamina. In addition, due to the mindful process of each movement, taking part in a Tai Chi course outdoors is an excellent step toward connecting with nature while giving yourself the opportunity to improve your health.
Yoga is another wonderful low-impact form of movement that’s also associated with meditative properties; it can also be done with little-to-no equipment! Over time, yoga has been shown to help older adults maintain physical abilities. For example, yoga can be an excellent therapeutic practice for people with conditions like osteoporosis, a condition where the bones are weakened, by enhancing bone strength, flexibility, and balance.
A yoga mat, or even a blanket, can be taken outdoors, onto a front porch, the beach, a local pool, or any outdoor area. You can even find outdoor yoga classes in your local community or ask a group of close friends to join you for a day spent in the sun trying out a new yoga technique.
Picking a serene location can help you feel grounded and in touch with the environment around you, especially when you begin to focus on creating mindful movements within your body.
Perhaps the most simple (and underrated!) form of exercise – walking can be done at any pace, in any location, and at any time. Even if it’s a quick walk around the neighborhood or a stroll through your favorite park, walking is the perfect way to get your body moving and connect with nature and the environment around you.
Many cities and towns have paved trail systems designed to encourage walking outdoors. At Village Green, our Washington senior living communities feature on-site walking paths, greenery, and personal gardens. The gorgeous grounds that surround our communities reflect our belief in the healing powers of nature and its tranquil beauty.
Walking is a terrific, low-impact activity that boosts the heart rate. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that just 30 minutes a day of brisk walking can help prevent and even delay many health problems that tend to occur with age.
There’s a Japanese term, “shinrin-yoku,” that directly translates to “forest bathing.” It’s used to describe the sensation of spending time engaging your senses out in nature. This can be anything from feeling the fresh air around you, listening to the sound of leaves rustling or a stream, and being as present as possible in order to connect with nature and appreciate the experience of your environment.
Our Village Green Senior Living communities in Federal Way and West Seattle have countless opportunities to help residents stay active and explore new ways of connecting with nature. From our pea patches and gardens to our beautiful walking paths and trails, we want to ensure that everyone can enjoy the outdoors as they boost their wellness!
We invite you to discover Village Green Senior Living in Federal Way and West Seattle, Washington, by visiting our website today!