You may have initially moved down to Florida after retiring because of the nice weather, but now you’re finding that getting up and going outside feels like more trouble than it’s worth. Rest is important, but too much can be bad for your health. Balancing your lifestyle with some physical activity and fresh air is thus essential to maintaining your body and mind, and the benefits of being outdoors for seniors are numerous. Lucky for you, you’re living in the Sunshine State where sight-obscuring snow, piercing winds, and slippery ice are but a distant memory.
Strengthens the Body
Just by doing various leisure activities outdoors, you can reap multiple physical gains. By walking under the sun and taking in some vitamin D, you’ll help your intestines absorb calcium. In turn, you’ll be able to maintain your bone density and lessen your risk of injury. Furthermore, moving around more while doing things such as swimming or walking will naturally fortify your bones and muscles as you use them more frequently. It is true that too much strain can lead to injury, but careful, measured exercise will have the opposite effect. Your body will develop to meet the demands that you place on it. Even with a weaker leg, you can walk safely by using a cane.
Going outside and spending time in nature has also been shown to improve your mood. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal showed that people who walk through a natural setting ruminate less than those who walk through an urban one. Rumination is the act of mulling over negative thoughts, which can worsen the mental state of an individual. That same study also found that the portion of the brain that is associated with mental illnesses like depression was less active in subjects who took those walks in nature.
You can gather from these findings that prolonged exposure to more manmade structures than organic ones can worsen your disposition over time. In other words, staying in your home or in urban locations can have a negative effect on the mind. With all the gorgeous beaches and wetlands available to you in Florida, though, you aren’t restricted to such environments. Whether you prefer experiencing trails, fishing at the coast, or simply appreciating nature in general, you can take steps to better your mood with relative ease.
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