Most people spend 90% of their time indoors, so just imagine what that statistic must be for seniors, who often have more difficulty moving around and fewer commitments outside the home. While staying indoors may be the norm, it deprives you of a vital ingredient for physical and emotional wellbeing – fresh air.
Fuel Your Body
Fresh air is full of oxygen, which is essential for every single cell in your body. Breathing fresh air helps your lungs dilate more fully and cleanse more effectively, increasing your oxygen intake and giving you a boost of energy. It also improves immunity by refreshing your white blood cells, which are responsible for killing bacteria and fighting off germs. By breathing in fresh air, you are giving your body the fuel it needs to stay healthy and active.
Feed Your Brain
Did you know that your brain uses 20% of your body’s oxygen supply? We need fresh air to survive and thrive. People often go for a walk to clear their head or think more effectively, and science backs that up. A steady supply of oxygen gives you a greater sense of clarity and improves your ability to concentrate.
Breathe In Happiness
Yes, fresh air can make you happy! Oxygen stimulates your body to produce serotonin, a chemical that lightens your mood and increases feelings of calm and wellbeing. Studies have also shown that breathing in the scent of the outdoors, such as flowers and pine trees, makes people feel happy and relaxed.
How Can I Get Fresh Air?
There are many wonderful ways for seniors to get outside, but it’s important to remember that not all air is necessarily “fresh.” While it’s always beneficial to leave the house, the closer you are to trees and nature, the cleaner the air quality. This doesn’t mean you have to visit the country, but busy downtown areas and congested streets are not the best source for fresh air. Walking around your neighbourhood is a great way to get outside and get some oxygen, especially since it has the added bonus of being good exercise. If you’re not feeling up to walking, simply sitting outside while reading, talking on the phone or enjoying a cup of tea is a great alternative. If you don’t have a patio, caregivers might consider setting up a small sitting area to encourage seniors to embrace the outdoors. Getting fresh air can also be worked into your daily routine. If you have an appointment, for example, look for ways to spend time outside, such as visiting a nearby park or relaxing on a bench. On days when the weather or other circumstances keep you inside, open the windows to get fresh air or decorate your home with plants for an added source of oxygen.
We hope this encourages you to get outside and breathe in all that oxygen! Fresh air benefits everyone, seniors and caregivers alike, in a multitude of wonderful ways. How do you like to spend time outdoors? Share with us in the comments!