Senior Life: Ways to enjoy the outdoors this spring and early summer

It’s raining, the flowers are blooming, and the bees are everywhere (at least at our place). It is time to venture outside again. When the sun is out, it feels so good to just stop and sit down and enjoy it!

Thinking about getting out and enjoying the sun and fresh air? Do not forget that the Portage Park District still offers free senior walks through our parks twice a month. All of the trails are handicapped accessible. They walk at a different Portage County park each time.

At noon June 13, park staff will escort a trail walk at the Cleveland Road park in Ravenna. On June 27, park staff will escort a trail walk at Headwaters Trail.

For more information about the senior walks, call the Portage Park District office at 330-297- 7728. Remember, our tax dollars support our parks … take advantage of them. I understand that each session has 15 to 20 folks participate. Take some time this summer and join them.

Another opportunity to get some exercise, fresh air and meet some new folks is to join a local garden club. Just about every neighborhood in Portage County has a group that meets monthly and discusses pros and cons of gardening and information about different plants.

To find more information about local garden clubs, contact the Portage County Ohio State Extension Office at 330-296-6432.

Hiking in the woods with neighbors and attending garden club meetings give us a chance to laugh and enjoy another person’s company. This fits into one universal prescription to help “what ails us.”

I recently came across an old AARP article (March 2012) that talked about some recent studies about why laughing matters: “Doctors have long suspected that laughter is good for your health. … New research shows that the muscular exertion required to let out a good guffaw releases endorphins, those feel-good brain chemicals that boost mood and can also reduce pain.”

The article goes on to quote other studies that have shown that laughing lowers blood pressure and improves the immune system.

Back in 2012, the University of Oxford was actually hosting laughter therapy workshops. Instructors taught participants how to produce deep belly laughs. I do not think that we need to attend a workshop on how to laugh, maybe just put yourself in a situation where there is something to laugh about … with a group of young children, or with friends your own age playing a game, or in front of the television watching a comedy show like America’s Funniest Home Videos.

Obviously, it would not be wise to throw away our Eliquis or Entresto prescriptions, but we might want to turn off the nightly news; and when picking up a newspaper, first turn to the comics, not the front page or obituaries. There are some good things happening out there, maybe we just have to look a little closer to find the humor in our daily lives … it is there, just take the time to find it and take the opportunity to laugh at it.

Contact Sally Kelly with your senior news at 330-687-9501 or [email protected].

+ posts