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It is perhaps the best form of physical exercise for all age groups. The chance to breathe fresh air and see the trees helps in alleviating depression and helps maintain emotional well being. It also gives an opportunity to meet other people. You must however wear comfortable walking shoes, which will give support to your feet and they will not feel tired. For those who feel the need for intermediate support, or a need to hold on to something, carrying a stick is a good idea. For those who can go for longer walks, or prefer to go and sit in the park, or garden, carrying a small bottle of water would help take care of thirst. However, if one is on a wheelchair, going to parks and gardens may not be very feasible owing to the physical barriers. There is however another boon – the malls, which can be accessed even in wheelchairs, with a helper. For the wheelchair borne, these walks may not be possible everyday but can be clubbed with window shopping, if one is interested and perhaps a coffee, with a friend, acquaintance, or a family member.Infact, apart from Malls, it could be other places that interest you – a museum perhaps which you could visit with a companion or alone, and then maybe stop by for lunch or coffee. A good way to figure out where to go is to look at "What'son Today" section in the newspaper to get an idea about the forthcoming events ofinterest and plan your day or week accordingly.
A great activity for people who love nature but cannot go for nature walks, in the fields or forests because of physical constraints,lack of transport, companions or any other practical problem. You necessarily need not go to the forests for this. A park in the vicinity is a good idea to start this activity. Some ideas and lots of interesting information, if you are serious about this hobby can be obtained from http://www.birding.in/
Another activity, which can either be linked with the previous two, or can be practiced independently is Photography. All you need is a camera. A practical way is getting hold of a digital camera, and clicking whatever interests you, and capturing it in your camera, or computer. It could be a theme – like nature, or vehicles, or humans, anything that hold your attention. This can then be even consolidated into a scrapbook kind of file in your computer. Some more information can be obtained from http://www.asianphotographyindia.com , in case you are interested. Some basic and digital photography techniques as well as city wise list of photogalleries and other relevant information is also available onhttp://www.photolinks.com/resources.html?
A purposeful activity that connects you to nature. Allyou need is a small patch of land, or a few pots that you can keep in your balconyor just outside your house, and some bright coloured equipment. A few websites and books are enough to help you create a garden and maybe even grow some vegetables,like http://www.seasonsindia.com/lifestyle/gardening_sea.htm and cityfarmer.org/kitchenIndia A word of caution, however – do not step out to do gardening when it is very warm outside,do it in the mornings and evenings. It is also important, not to lift anything heavy like pots, which might cause you to strain your back. If you do have a back problem, it would help to put the pots in an elevated place so that you do not have to bend too much.
If your doctor and physical health permits, sports is a very good exercise and recreational activity – be it golf, badminton,tennis, swimming, or any other that may interest you. It is also an excellent way to meet other people socially.
This is one activity suggested by all doctors and health practitioners for all age groups. The seniors are no different. Different forms of exercise are now being practiced which are a great form of relaxation apart from helping physical and mental fitness. Some of these are.
According to the Wikipedia, Yoga is aimed at achieving theunion with supreme consciousness. However, it helps to achieve physical and mentalfitness as well. A TV series by a professional Yoga Guru gives an idea about the benefits of Yoga and how to practice. You can also access this website http://www.yogapoint.com/index.htm to know more about Yoga.It is however essential to learn appropriate and right postures from a good teacherof Yoga. This website :http://www.yoga-centers-directory.net/india/india.htmgives an idea of addresses of Yoga centers in various cities in India and all over the world.
Chinese martial art that is getting a lot of recognition,especially for senior citizens because of its 'soft skills' and health and longevity benefits. It is long flowing movements in a slow, graceful manner. Each posture flows into the next without pausing. Just as Yoga, Tai-chi is beneficial for various diseases like arthritis,diabetes, osteoporosis etc. A list of Tai-Chi Instructors in various cities of India can be found on http://www.taichinetwork.org/searchpages/Asia-India-Tai-Chi-teachers.html.
Art of living
According to the website dedicated to this - http://www.artofliving.org/AboutUs/tabid/60/Default.aspx , the Art of Living initiatives strive to uphold the dignity of every human being on this planet, offering each individual a stress-free mind, a healthy body and the opportunity to maximize their potential for personal and spiritual growth. Art of living Foundation, an NGO social well-being. List of Art of Living Centers in India is available on http://www.artofliving.org/Centers/tabid/66/Default.aspx formulated in 1981 by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has designed many self-development techniques which can easily be integrated into daily life to calm the mind and instill confidence and enthusiasm. One of his most unique offerings to the world is the Sudarshan Kriya, a powerful breathing technique that facilitates physical, mental, emotional and social well-being. List of Art of Living Centers in India is available on (http://www.artofliving.org/Centers/tabid/66/Default.aspx)
The list of outdoor activities is not limited to this. You can use your imagination and do whatever you enjoy, to occupy your time and give you a sense of fulfillment.You perhaps would benefit more if you set aside a time for the activity/activities that you want to do, for example, go for a walk. If you set a time everyday as your'walk time', you would be mentally prepared and physically groomed, your brain would be disciplined and you would look forward to it.
Mail to -: Dr. Subha Soneja