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Summer To-Do List: 8 Ideas For Summer Fun

Summer activities that keep you engaged while staying safe in the summer heat.

By Clover Health

Summer brings warm weather, outdoor activities, and the opportunity to get out and enjoy some fresh air. It’s a great season for seniors to enjoy themselves indoors or outdoors. Staying active, connecting with nature, and social engagement helps benefit both mental and physical well-being.

Here are some ideas for safe summer activities for seniors during the warmer months.

1. Plant a vegetable garden.

Summer is a perfect time to start or tend to your garden and grow your own food.

Gardening is a great activity for those who enjoy spending time outside. It allows you to get some vitamin D while also growing your own nutritious fruits and vegetables for healthy meals.

For the best harvest, consider plants that can thrive through the sunshine-filled season, such as green beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, peppers, and zucchini.

Don’t have the space for your own garden? Consider joining a community garden to socialize and share fresh produce during harvest time with your neighbors. 

Make it easy: Plant your vegetables or flowers in raised flower beds to keep you from having to bend down, and purchase tools that will make gardening easier.

2. Be a lifelong learner.

This summer, try something you’ve never done before. A new hobby could be just the thing to spark your passion and purpose. 

Taking up a hobby as an older adult is great for mind, body, and spirit. Learning something new not only exercises your brain, it can also help produce endorphins, which are happy emotions.

It doesn’t matter what the hobby is, from meditation to watercolor painting to taking photographs with your smartphone—if the idea of doing it appeals to you, it’s the one to try.

3. Take a road trip.

Road trips are one of the best outdoor activities to experience with loved ones, see new sights, and get some well-deserved rest and relaxation. 

A change of scenery—even if it’s just a Sunday drive through a new part of your city or a stroll in a park—can do wonders for your health, both mental and physical.

4. Do something kind.

There is a ripple effect on those around you from acts of kindness. These gestures don’t have to be big or grand to be effective. Call an old friend to reconnect, donate to a favorite charity (even just a few dollars can help make a difference), or leave flowers on a neighbor’s doorstep. Small, simple acts of kindness can go a long way and also help improve the lives of others, whether you know them or not.

5. Try a digital detox. 

There’s no better time to put down the screens and live in the moment. See if you can go 24 hours without TV, phones, radio, or the internet. Spend the day reading, walking outside, sitting on the porch with a glass of iced tea, whatever makes you feel refreshed. Use your mini digital detox to enjoy the peace and quiet of summertime. 

6. Try out a new exercise.

Oftentimes during the summer local senior or community centers will offer free outdoor exercise classes. Why not try something new and see how it feels? (Just remember to always check with your doctor before starting a new workout routine.)

Consider tai chi, which focuses on slow, gentle movements and deep breathing—a terrific way to improve your balance. 

Dancing is another great exercise for balance, strength, and flexibility. It can also help keep your mind sharp and boost your mood! Even if you're not a big dancer, try turning on some music at home by yourself (or with a friend) and dance around the living room for a few songs. 

7. Cook something new. 

Break out of your recipe rut by trying something new. You just might find a new favorite! We have several healthy recipes on our blog to help you get started, from white pizza with spiral-cut zucchini to roasted halibut with potatoes, shallots, and grapes. If you want something simple with minimal cleanup, check out these sheet-pan recipes and one-pot recipes.   

8. Review your Medicare coverage.

While this isn’t as exciting as taking a road trip or making sheet-pan shawarma, taking a look at your Medicare coverage this summer is extremely important, especially because the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) is right around the corner. During AEP you can enroll in a new Medicare plan for the first time, or even switch between plans. It’s a great time to take a closer look at your healthcare coverage and make sure you’re getting all the healthcare services you need. If you’re not sure what to look for, check out our handy Medicare 101 guide. You can also always give us a call at 1-800-775-0135 (TTY 711) from 8 am to 8 pm local time, 7 days a week.* We’re here to answer any questions you might have. 

This article was originally published in the summer 2021 issue of Clover Living magazine. Want more helpful tips? Subscribe to receive Clover Living magazine in print.

This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Kumar Dharmarajan

Published on 6/23/22

Photo credit: Getty