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tuscaloosa-senior-gardening10 Ways for Seniors to Enjoy Springtime

The chirping birds and blossoming flowers signal the return of springtime for Tuscaloosa AL seniors to get outside and enjoy. There are many ways they can enjoy the warmer weather, but care should be taken to protect the skin and avoid overheating as we spend more time outdoors.

“With the warmer weather, we will have lots of things to do and enjoy and will be initiating more projects outside,” said Crystal Yarbrough, Executive Director at Regency in Tuscaloosa, in the most recent newsletter. “As usual, ‘spring’ has so far proved to be fleeting, and we are moving to hot weather more quickly than some of us would like.”

Although mobility issues can keep some seniors from fully enjoying the great outdoors, many others relish the opportunity to breathe in the fresh air after months of staying indoors because of the cooler weather. It’s important for individuals to speak with their doctors to know their limitations before attempting to be physically active outdoors. Even for those confined to a wheelchair, springtime offers a chance to enjoy a change of scenery.

Doctors say that soaking up sunlight is a source of Vitamin D, which research finds can improve cognitive function.

Here are 10 things for seniors in Tuscaloosa to do this time of year:

Work on a garden. Whether focused on growing tomatoes to eat or daisies to enjoy looking at, those who are physically able can get their hands dirty and dig in the dirt can reap the rewards of some laboring. Beets, beans, squash, and cucumbers can enhance late spring meals while pansies, begonias, dahlias, and daylilies make beautiful arrangements to admire looking at. Here at Regency, we schedule a time for tomato and vegetable planting by the outside patio.

Visit a Farmer’s Market. The Tuscaloosa Farmers’ Market on Jack Warner Parkway is open every Saturday from 7 am to noon. Over 30 local farmers and artisan vendors bring home grown and local products to the banks of the Black Warrior River.

Go Fishing. Even those confined to a wheelchair can cast a line from a dock and reel in a catch. Bankhead Lake covers 9,200 acres with largemouth and spotted bass.

Bird Watch. Grab some binoculars and observe our feathered friends as they play the annual game of courtship rituals. It’s fun to see if you can identify the types of birds. If you’re crafty, create a birdfeeder, hang it from a nearby tree and regularly fill it with seed to get a closer view.

Go to a Baseball Game. Here in T-Town, it’s all about the Crimson Tide. Bama plays baseball through late May with a lot of big games ahead at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. Just up the road, the Birmingham Barons play minor league baseball at Regions Field downtown. Nothing quite says spring fun like an afternoon watching the boys swing for the fences.

Take Walks. Getting in the habit of walking can not only lead to great people watching opportunities but also improve health by lowering blood pressure, burning fat, building muscle, and improving balance. Winter month activities are mostly sedentary, so spring is a great time to get moving.

Take the GrandKids to a Park. Children these days spend far too much time hunched in front of video screens. Grandparents can share an appreciation for being outdoors, taking them to local parks to blow bubbles, toss a Frisbee, fly a kite, or perhaps stare at the clouds and guess their shapes. A scavenger hunt with clues left for kids can make it an adventure.
Sort and Discard Old Things. They call it “spring cleaning” for a reason. Now is a great time to throw away things creating clutter and improve the look and safety of an area.

Take Daytrips. This doesn’t necessarily mean traveling far away. Seniors can beat the heat by visiting the Paul W. Bryant Museum or checking out paintings at the Tuscaloosa Museum of Art. Regency’s men are visiting the Mercedes Benz Museum in Vance in April to check out the classic cars and race cars.

Take in a Concert. Spring is a time to be social with others at venues like the Tuscaloosa Ampitheatre, Oak Mountain Amphitheatre, the BJCC, and other sites. Here at Regency Retirement Village of Tuscaloosa, the entertainers come to us, including April shows scheduled by The Alexanders and the Legends Show with Gina and Stacy Cooper.

Additionally, there are plenty of community events to be a part of, from Earth Day observances to Memorial Day concerts to Fourth of July fireworks.

When getting outside, it’s important for seniors to protect their health by dressing lightly, staying hydrated, drinking plenty of fluids, wearing a broad-brimmed hat with sunglasses, and applying sunscreen before heading out.

Poor circulation, chronic medical conditions and use of certain medications can put seniors at a greater risk of heat-related problems than younger people. Tuscaloosa’s warm season lasts from May 23 to September 22 with an average daily high temperature above 84°F. The hottest day of the year is July 18, with an average high of 92°F. As temperatures rise, Alabama seniors can beat the heat by spending time in air-conditioned spaces and enjoying frozen treats such as Popsicles and fruit with high water content like watermelon.

These are just a few tips to enhance enjoyment of springtime as the weather transitions to yet another humid summer in the Deep South.

To learn more about Regency, call us at (205) 752-5500.