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Healthy Summer Fun for Seniors

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Healthy Summer Fun for Seniors

Healthy Summer Fun for Seniors

With the summertime upon us, that means warmer weather, longer days, and plenty of outdoor activities for you to enjoy! The health experts at ATRIO Health Plans are here to share some activities and tips to help you enjoy the summer while keeping your health in mind.

Summer Activities for Seniors

When it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle, getting up and getting active is a great way to start. It is recommended that the average adult should try to work about 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity into their schedule each week.

However, as we continue to age, it is important to be mindful of your orthopedic health too. Here are a few low-impact activities you can get your heart pumping this summer while being gentle on your joints.

Bike Riding

Along with being a great way to enjoy nature, riding a bicycle is an excellent aerobic activity that helps to support various areas of your health. Some of the many benefits of riding a bike for just 2.5 hours each week include:

  • Reducing your risk for heart disease and stroke
  • Improving supportive muscle strength
  • Improving balance and coordination
  • Reduced risk of developing an arthritic condition
  • Reduced risk of developing certain cancers
  • Support a healthy body weight

Whether you prefer riding your bike around your neighborhood or taking your favorite trail, cycling can be a great way to get up and get moving this summer!

Kayaking and Canoeing

Kayaking and canoeing are also excellent summertime activities that can help to get your heart pumping while helping you to beat the heat. Some of the physical and mental health benefits of kayaking and canoeing include:

  • Engaging and building upper body strength
  • Improving core muscle strength
  • Boosting vitamin d production
  • Reducing stress levels
  • Improving sleep quality
  • Supporting your cognitive brain function
  • Decrease the risk of developing dementia

Grab your paddle and hit your favorite beach, lake, or river to get a workout this summer!


With activities like shoveling, digging, and weeding—gardening is another hobby that can help you to work toward your fitness goals while being easy on your joints. The health benefits of gardening include:

  • Building muscle strength
  • Reducing your risk for heart disease and cardiac events
  • Reducing the risk of developing diabetes
  • Increasing vitamin D production
  • Supporting cognitive brain function
  • Reducing the risk for certain cancers
  • Improving dexterity

From planting your favorite flowers or a vegetable garden, this hobby can help you to stay active.

Yoga & Dynamic Stretching

While many people focus on building muscle strength or losing weight when exercising, flexibility and range of motion are also important components of fitness. Along with improved flexibility, introducing yoga and dynamic stretching into your routine can also provide the following health benefits:

  • Reduced risk for heart disease
  • Improved circulation
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Improved mood regulation
  • Reduce arthritis symptoms
  • Improves energy levels
  • Improves balance

Whether you prefer to do yoga on your own or in a class setting, grab your yoga mat and do a few of your favorite flows to reap this hobby’s healthful benefits.

Water Aerobics & Swimming

With the summer heat, it’s important to find activities that not only get you up and moving but help you to stay cool too. Fortunately, swimming and water aerobics can do just that!

Some health benefits of these water activities include:

  • Lowering your risk for diabetes
  • Lowering stress levels
  • Regulating your mood
  • Supporting healthy weight
  • Reducing arthritic symptoms
  • Improving blood pressure
  • Reducing your risk for heart disease
  • Making the heart more efficient
  • Improving flexibility

Head to the beach or take a water aerobics class at your community pool this summer to help support your health!

Summer Safety Tips

Stay Hydrated

With warmer weather upon us, it is important for everyone to stay hydrated—especially seniors. This is because older people are more prone to experiencing heat exhaustion—a heat-related illness that happens when you’re exposed to high temperatures without taking in enough water. In more severe cases, this can even turn into heatstroke.

Although it is recommended that people drink about 11 to 16 cups of water each day. It is advised that older people should try to increase their water intake. Along with drinking water itself, the following fruits and vegetables can help to boost your water intake:

  • Apples
  • Cucumbers
  • Celery
  • Watermelon
  • Zucchini
  • Tomatoes
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Honeydew Melon
  • Strawberries

Protect Your Skin from the Summer Sun

Skin cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer affecting Americans, with more people being diagnosed with skin cancer each year than all other cancers combined. The most preventable cause of cellular damage that leads to skin cancer is excessive exposure to the sun’s UV rays and UV tanning beds.

The best way to protect your skin is to wear sunscreen when spending time outdoors. However, it is important to note that your sunscreen should meet the following criteria:

  • Labeled as being “broad-spectrum”
  • Have a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher
  • Water-resistant

In addition to wearing sunscreen, there are plenty of other ways that you can help to shield your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Keep these tips in mind when heading out to have fun in the sun this summer:

  • Wear sunglasses with UV protection.
  • Wear light-colored protective clothing
  • Wear long sleeves and pants when you can
  • Spend time in shaded areas
  • Wear brimmed hats and visors

If you have any additional health concerns when it comes to safeguarding your health while enjoying certain summer activities, be sure to reach out to your primary care doctor.