Best Outdoor Activities For Seniors

Ian George
Ian George
Writer at Seniors Bulletin

Outdoor activities are always a great way to get some fresh air and exercise. Whether you want to take a leisurely stroll, do some gardening or go hiking, there are plenty of opportunities for seniors out there. And if you’re worried that outdoor activities aren’t safe for seniors, don’t be! There are plenty of outdoor activities that can help keep your mind and body active without putting strain on your joints or bones.


  • Outdoor activities like walking, gardening, and Pilates provide physical and mental health benefits without straining joints.
  • Engaging in water aerobics, resistance band workouts, and Tai Chi helps seniors improve balance, flexibility, and mental health.
  • Activities such as swimming, bird watching, and fishing encourage seniors to maintain an active lifestyle while enjoying the outdoors and socializing.

We’ve rounded up some of our favorite outdoor activities for seniors below:

1. Walking

Walking is one of the easiest and most basic forms of physical activity you can do. It’s also inexpensive, easy to do anywhere and can be incorporated into your daily routine with little effort or planning. Walking is great for your heart and lungs because it helps control blood pressure, strengthens bones and muscles, improves glucose metabolism (which helps prevent diabetes), and boosts brain function.

Some research also suggests that walking may help prevent heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis/osteopenia (reduced bone density), colon cancer (due to increased fiber consumption) as well as Alzheimer’s disease later in life by reducing stress levels in the body through a process called “the relaxation response.”

Walking is also a great way to destress and unwind after a long day at work or school. If you’re feeling stressed, try taking a 30-minute walk around your neighborhood or through the park.

2. Gardening

Gardening is a great way to get outside, get some exercise and connect with nature. It can be done in any season so there’s no excuse not to try it when you’re feeling the cold of winter or want a break from the heat of summer. There are many benefits of gardening for seniors:

  • You get fresh air, which improves your mood and overall health.
  • Gardening is an activity that both improves your physical strength and boosts cognitive skills such as memory and concentration.
  • It’s a way to socialize with family members or friends who also enjoy gardening, too!

It provides an opportunity for you to get creative and make something beautiful with your own hands, which can boost self-esteem. Gardening is also a great way to spend time with your grandkids or other children in your life.

3. Pilates

Pilates is a system of exercises designed to strengthen the body, improve posture and flexibility, and increase endurance. The exercises are based on the concept that the body is a series of interconnected springs. Pilates focuses on core strength and flexibility which means it can help you stay healthy as your body ages.

Pilates uses many different types of equipment including mats, springs, balls and weights but does not require any special clothing or shoes. The goal is not just to perform exercises correctly but also to feel good about yourself as you do them!

The exercises are designed to strengthen and lengthen your muscles while improving flexibility. They can help improve posture, balance and coordination. A typical Pilates session lasts between 30 and 45 minutes, depending on the experience of the instructor and how many people are in class. In general, beginners should start with a beginner class or private lesson before moving onto group classes.

4. Swimming

Swimming is a fantastic exercise that can help you stay active, improve strength and flexibility, increase cardiovascular health and even boost your mood. In fact, studies have shown that swimming may be more effective than walking at improving aerobic capacity in older adults.

The low impact nature of swimming makes it easy on joints and muscles – especially if you have osteoarthritis or other joint problems – but it still gives your body a good workout by working all the major muscle groups as well as providing an opportunity for resistance training through water resistance. Swimmers also experience less stress to the spine compared to runners or walkers who experience compressive forces from gravity during their activity.

Swimming also helps with balance and coordination which are important skills for people that are aging because they indicate how quickly someone will respond to unexpected changes in their environment such as tripping over something while walking outdoors or falling down stairs at home (which often happens when vision gets less acute).

5. Bird Watching

Bird watching is an excellent way to get exercise and enjoy nature. You can do it alone, or take a class with others. It doesn’t have to be expensive either; your backyard may be filled with interesting birds that you haven’t noticed before.

If you’re less confident in your own birding skills, there are organizations that offer guided tours of local parks or even bring you on organized hikes through forests and mountains where many different types of birds live.

While you’re birding, take note of how many different types of birds you see. This can help you learn more about the local environment and identify which species are native and which are not. In addition to being an enjoyable pastime, birdwatching can be a great way to learn about ecology and conservation issues.

6. Camping

Camping is a great way to get out and enjoy the outdoors, whether you’re looking to go hiking or just want a relaxing weekend away from everything. It’s also a fun and healthy activity for seniors. Camping can be done in many different ways—it doesn’t have to mean sleeping on the ground with no electricity!

You could try backpacking, where you walk long distances with all your gear on your back (and then do it again when you get home). Or maybe car camping is more up your alley—just find a place that has good parking spaces for your RV or camper van. You might even want to try glamping (glamorous camping), which can include nice beds and hot showers at night.

7. Fishing

Fishing is a great form of exercise and relaxation. For most seniors, fishing is a great way to get out in the fresh air and enjoy nature. If you’re not familiar with fishing, don’t worry—you don’t need any prior experience to do it!

You can go fishing anywhere there are fish: lakes, rivers or oceans. There are many different types of fish depending on where in the world you live (or travel). Some popular types of fish include salmon, bass and trout. Fish are also very nutritious sources of protein that will help your body stay healthy for years to come! If you want to go fishing, here’s what you need:

  • A fishing rod and reel
  • A fishing line (and/or a lure)
  • Bobbers if you’re fishing from the shore or bank of a river or lake

8. Bowling

Bowling is a fun activity to engage in with seniors. It’s great for those who want to get physical and socialize with their peers. There are also many bowling leagues available that can be joined by anyone over the age of 18.

Bowling is also a great way for seniors to meet new people as well as make friends that share similar interests. If you want to go bowling alone, there are plenty of lanes open at any time throughout the day! Here’s what you need:

  • A pair of bowling shoes (optional, rentals are generally available)
  • A bowling ball (optional, rentals are generally available)

9. Pickleball

Pickleball is an indoor and outdoor game that combines elements of badminton, tennis, and table tennis. It’s easy to learn and can be played by anyone regardless of age or skill level. You’ll need a paddle and a whiffle ball, but you can also buy a set designed specifically for pickleball if you’re not quite sure where to start.

Pickleball is played on a court that’s smaller than a tennis court (20 feet wide by 60 feet long), though it has the same net height as a standard ping pong table (10 feet). The rallies are fast-paced but generally low-impact—which makes them perfect for seniors looking for some physical activity without putting too much stress on their bodies.

10. Golfing

Golfing is a great way to get exercise and fresh air, while enjoying the company of friends and family. Golfing can be enjoyed by people of all ages, no matter their level of physical fitness. While you should always consult a doctor before beginning any new exercise program, golf is generally safe for seniors as long as they have no pre-existing conditions that might make it too strenuous (such as heart disease or arthritis).

A round of golf usually takes around four hours–a good amount of time spent outside in the fresh air and sunshine!

Seniors Outdoor Activities Can Have More Benefits Than Indoor Activities

It’s important to stay active as you age. Being physically fit can help increase your mental health and decrease the risk of certain diseases, such as high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. It can also help reduce stress levels, keep you from feeling isolated from others, boost your self-esteem, and relieve pain in your joints or muscles.

Outdoor activities are great for seniors because they get them out of the house (which could be helpful if they have limited mobility) and because they get fresh air (which is good for their lungs). In fact, outdoor activity has been shown to improve lung capacity in older adults compared to indoor exercise like cycling on a stationary bike or treadmill!

Seniors also often enjoy being around other people—and that’s what makes outdoor activities so special: they provide the opportunity for seniors to socialize with friends while having fun.

Seniors, Let’s Get Outside!

When it comes to your health and well-being, why not take advantage of all the benefits that being outdoors can offer? With a little bit of research into which activities are best for seniors, you’ll be well on your way to having fun and getting fit at the same time!

The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and they do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the providers being reviewed. The providers and SeniorsBulletin assume no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in the content of this site. The information contained in this site is provided on an “as is” basis with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness and without any warranties of any kind whatsoever, express or implied.

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