Health & Wellness | June 6, 2022 |

5 Outdoor Summer Activities for Older Adults

3 minute read
5 Outdoor Summer Activities for Older Adults

It’s been a long winter, but summer is finally here. The obstacles of freezing ice and snow are gone and the sidewalks are clear. This is the perfect time to shake off those seasonal blues and head outside to get moving. Wondering where to begin? Try these outdoor activities to put a spring in your step and make exercise fun again as you embrace the warmer weather.

Outdoor summer activities to get you moving

Make the most of the sunnier months ahead with these outdoor workout ideas. The best part? Many of them are free or low-cost; public parks often offer space, community classes, or equipment you can use to get started. If you’re over 50, the activities below also offer options that are gentle on muscles, improve balance, and build strength.

1. Get in the pool or jump in a lake

Swimming is a great way to improve flexibility, strength, cardiovascular fitness, and lung capacity. Try swimming laps or join an aqua fit class to mix aerobics and socializing. Once the June sun arrives, choose an outdoor pool to enjoy the sunshine.

2. Make exercise productive

If you’re intimidated by traditional gym workouts or classes, try spring activities that are productive: like picking berries at a farm, weeding the garden, taking brisk walks while window shopping in a nearby town, biking to your favourite coffee shop, or doing a thorough spring house clean (dance with the broom for extra exercise!).

A senior couple practices Tai Chi in a park

3. Try an outdoor exercise class. 

Low-impact group tai chi, yoga, pilates, or Zumba classes can holistically target physical, mental, and spiritual wellness. Join a local outdoor class or tune in to an online class in your sunny backyard or with friends outside. If you have limited mobility, try activities like chair yoga or modified movement classes that let you exercise in a way that matches your comfort level. You can find these classes at your local YMCA, gym, community centre, or online through Boomerang

4. Move with nature

Walking and hiking can be a lovely way to enjoy the new blossoms and summer weather, or to explore your neighbourhood. Try noticing and identifying the plants you see along the way, ask a friend to join you, or listen to a podcast as you walk. Google the best local farms, waterfalls, public parks, or attractions to connect with nature as summer unfolds. You can also bring a picnic to a local waterfall or search for botanical gardens in your area.

Read more about recharging with nature.

5. Let art and music inspire your exercise

If you’re someone who typically doesn’t enjoy exercise or sports, try basing your outdoor activities around things you already love. If you’re drawn to art or creativity, perhaps you can get in your steps through a more creative type of movement.

  • Love photography? Go on a walk and take photographs of the five most interesting things you see, or combine a hike with a photoshoot. Some townships and cities offer walking tours of local attractions, graffiti tours, and art crawls. If you’re not one to enjoy a long vigorous walk, you might not mind moving while you’re looking at a great piece of art.
  • Choose creative activities that require built-in exercise, like executing a theatre production with your grandchildren, walking around a big art gallery for hours, or venturing out on a walk by the lake and setting up somewhere beautiful to paint a landscape.
  • Music can inspire great ways to move and get exercise while you’re enjoying songs you love. Modern dance, ballet, barre classes, burlesque, square dancing, line dancing, swing dancing, or tap dancing are a great way to have fun and express yourself. Look for outdoor community events like street fairs in the summer months and check out any musical performances that might be fun to move your body to. You can always host your own dance party with friends as well.

Tips to make exercise easier for older adults

If you find yourself making excuses, notice what gets in the way of your fitness goals. By removing obstacles, building habits, and choosing outdoor activities that complement what you already love doing, you can discover a fresh way of getting outside that suits your lifestyle this summer.

  • Keep your running shoes in the car so you can lace up if you happen to drive by a park, a street, or a new trail you haven’t checked out.
  • If you have a fitness watch or accessory that tracks steps, keep it on your wrist to remind you to sneak in steps whenever you can throughout the day.
  • Try starting small to make outdoor activity a habit. Even short workouts have great benefits, so use those five minutes at the start of the day to do some jumping jacks, or park a bit farther from the store to get in a brisk walk in the summer sunshine.
  • Schedule time intentionally and make exercise a priority. Even if it’s a small window of time, try to keep outdoor activity as a non-negotiable part of your day. Once it’s part of your natural rhythm, it will be easier to get outside every day.
  • Write down why you want to stay active. Perhaps it’s to connect with your community, to live a long healthy life, to improve mental cognition, or to stay healthy so you can play with your grandchildren. Keep this note in a place where you’ll see it, like on your bathroom mirror or on the fridge. Remembering why you want to get moving in the first place will help you when it feels like a hassle to throw on your gym shorts and get out the door.
  • Find a friend, colleague, or family member who enjoys the same activity you do and make a commitment to walk, swim, bike, run, or try something new together. You’re more likely to keep a plan if someone else is keeping you accountable to the choice you made.

Read more about how to maintain your fitness as you age.

Get moving this summer with Boomerang

Pursuing your interests or rediscovering your passions has never been easier. With Boomerang, older adults can register for over 100+ online classes a month that focus on physical, mental and financial wellness. Here’s a pro tip for warm weather: pair outside activities with online classes to explore something new and get moving with our  passionate instructors. Sign up to Boomerang today.

Learn more about our online classes for older adults.

This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.

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