Spring has sprung, COVID-19 vaccines are rolling out, and everyone is ready to begin enjoying the outdoors — especially people living the retirement lifestyle.
But before you step back into the leisure activities you've missed over the past year, keep these safety tips in mind.
Follow Local Public Health Guidelines
Before enjoying the outdoors, check with your state health department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's health guidelines for information on mask requirements, physical distancing and more. Check with your destination, too, even if it's outdoors. Do your research before leaving the house — that way, you won't be surprised when your destination has restrictions or requirements.
Touch Base With Your Doctor
If you've put off routine health screenings because of COVID-19, check in with your doctor before enjoying the outdoors with gusto. Many physicians are still offering virtual appointments; connect with your caregivers about any physical activities you might want to start — such as an exercise program or a hiking routine — or to update your medications and request refills.
Carry Extra Masks and First-Aid Supplies
It's always a good idea to carry a first-aid kit when you're heading on an outdoor adventure. But it's a good idea these days to carry extra masks in case you decide to grab a bite to eat or do some shopping while you're out and about. Keeping a travel-size bottle of hand sanitizer with you is another good idea.
Great Outdoor Activities for Seniors
Plan a Picnic
Eating and enjoying the outdoors is the epitome of the retirement lifestyle. Prepare a picnic basket, pack a blanket, meet a friend and enjoy the nice weather. Adhere to your local masking and physical distancing guidelines. If you're not comfortable or mobile enough to get to the park, unfurl a blanket in your yard or on your deck. A little sunshine and fresh air can make a world of difference.
Go to a Farmers Market
If you're looking to get outdoors in a safe, accessible and controlled environment, check out your nearest farmers market. There, you can enjoy the outdoors, get to know your local farmers and do a little shopping all at once. Flowers, produce and handmade sundries will boost your mood and get you outside in the spring.
Birdwatching, Forest Bathing and More
The U.S. Forest Service can help you find nearby forests and grasslands, and it details the amenities and recreation options at each location to help you plan your outing. The National Audubon Society also lists sanctuaries for birdwatching and other activities across the country to get you into nature.
While enjoying a forest or garden area, try practicing shinrin-yoku (which translates to "forest bathing"), the Japanese practice of absorbing and immersing your senses in the calming sights, sounds and smells of nature.