As the summer heat persists, and we find ourselves mid-way through the summer, it is important to consider what types of summer activities are safe for seniors. Last month we discussed ways to stay safe in the heat, and to build on that, here are some summer activities that are safe for you and your loved ones. Most of these pastimes are outdoor activities, so remember to follow the proper heat and sun safety precautions. To revisit these precautions, click here.
Bird Watching & Nature Observation:
This activity can be enjoyed both indoors and outdoors. You can sit outside or go for a walk to observe the birds and wildlife in your area. Additionally, if the weather is too warm, you can go for a drive through areas like Parc Omega, or Gatineau Park; or place a birdfeeder or birdbath outside of your window and watch the birds enjoy their time in your yard.
Start or Visit a Garden:
The summertime is known as the growing season, and whether you’re a beginner or seasoned gardener, gardening can be a great and rewarding past time. Taking up gardening can provide you with fresh fruits and vegetables for you to enjoy and is proven to lower stress and raise serotonin. On the other hand, if you do not wish to start your own, contributing to a community garden can reap some of the same benefits, while also getting you out and about. A list of Ottawa’s community gardens can be found here.
In general, swimming/aquatic activities (both indoor and outdoor) are beneficial for seniors. It can help to lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease, and improve overall cardiovascular health. Swimming is great exercise for seniors as it requires more effort than going for a walk but is easier on the joints and muscles than other forms of cardio. In addition to all this, taking a dip in an indoor or outdoor pool, or lake to cool off is a great way to take a break from the summer heat.
Attend an Outdoor Show:
Enjoy long summer evenings by catching an outdoor concert, play, or movie. Seeing as in the evenings, the temperature will typically decrease, this is a great time of day for seniors to venture outside and not have to worry about the risks of being out in the heat. It also provides the opportunity to have a change of scenery and be entertained in a different way than usual. Some examples of this could be ‘Shakespeare in the Park”, a drive-in movie theatre, different music festivals (of varying scales).
Some examples of outdoor shows can be found here:
- Drive-In Theatres Near Ottawa
- 2023 Ottawa Summer Music Festivals & Outdoor Concerts
- Ottawa A Mid-Summer's Night Dream in the Park
- Ottawa Hamlet in the Park