Do Yourself a Favor: Go outside!
Everyone, especially older adults, can benefit from being outside. Many people are aware that 15 minutes of exposure to the sun provides a healthy dose of Vitamin D. Research also shows that regular exposure to nature and the outdoors can be a mood lifter as well. Here are some New York City activities to consider:
1. Bird watching. This activity can be enjoyed on many levels and in numerous locations. The competitive among us will relish creating bird-spotting lists. The musically inclined can savor the beauty of bird talk. There are also lectures and birding tours one can hear and join. Did you know that more than 200 varieties of birds visit Central Park each year? The Audubon Society has a webpage that provides examples of birds in North American along with a sample of their bird call.
2. Have a picnic. Whether it is on a blanket or a park bench, treat yourself to a meal, snack or simply a beverage outdoors. Make sure to find a well-traveled spot to park yourself. Consider inviting a friend!
3. Observe a playground or dog park. There is something restorative about watching children and dogs play. Although most playgrounds or dog parks will not allow people without children or pets to enter, you can usually locate a nearby bench from which to observe.
4. Visit a botanical garden. New York City boasts not one but two botanical gardens, each of which is world renown. You’ll find exhibits, food, shopping, incredible beauty. Due to COVID restrictions, you must get a ticket before you go. Learn more: The Bronx Botanical Garden and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
5. Visit your local senior center. If you’ve never visited your local senior center, check it out. If you haven’t been to your local senior center in a while, revisit it now. Senior centers provide a host of opportunities, including ongoing programs, trips, low cost and freshly-prepared meals, and opportunities to spend time with neighbors and peers who share your interests. Admission is free, and seniors aged 60 are eligible. Don’t like the senior center near you? Older adults can visit any senior center anywhere in the city! Locate a center near you: Call 311 or check out this link.