Toggle menu

Outdoor hobbies

Outdoor Hobbies Panel

Spending time outdoors offers numerous benefits for both physical and mental well-being. However, age-related changes like reduced mobility, weather concerns, and safety considerations can sometimes make venturing outside feel daunting.

Common scenarios and concerns

Lifestyle and equipment options to help you

Physical limitations: Reduced mobility or difficulty with strenuous activities can limit outdoor enjoyment.

This can lead to reduced activity levels, social isolation, and potential health concerns.

Low-impact activities: Explore options like birdwatching, gardening, or gentle walks. 

Adaptive equipment: Utilise gardening tools with extended handles, lightweight folding chairs, or walking poles for added support.

Weather concerns: Unpredictable weather can discourage outdoor activities.

This can lead to missed opportunities for fresh air and exercise.

Dress in layers: Wear breathable clothing that allows for easy layering depending on the weather. 

Waterproof gear: Invest in a good rain jacket and comfortable walking boots for wet weather.

Safety considerations: Balance issues or uneven terrain can increase fall risks outdoors.

This can lead to injuries and a potential loss of confidence. 

Walking poles: Provide additional stability while walking on uneven surfaces. 

Alert system: Consider wearing a personal safety device for added peace of mind.


Finding the perfect outdoor hobby

Here are some ideas for outdoor activities suitable for various abilities:

For nature enthusiasts

  • Birdwatching: Observing birds in their natural habitat is a relaxing and stimulating activity. Start with a simple bird feeder in your garden or join a local birdwatching group for guided walks.
  • Gardening: Tending to plants offers gentle exercise, gets you connected with nature, and provides fresh produce. Opt for raised garden beds or container gardening if kneeling is difficult.

For the active

  • Walking: Walking outdoors is a fantastic way to stay active and explore different areas of Plymouth. Choose well-maintained paths and utilise walking poles for added stability on uneven terrain.
  • Cycling: Cycling is a low-impact exercise that allows you to cover more distance and explore further afield. Opt for an e-bike for a motorised assist if pedalling becomes challenging.

For the social butterfly

  • Volunteer gardening: Many community gardens welcome volunteers for various tasks. This provides a way to connect with others while enjoying the outdoors.
  • Walking groups: Joining a walking group offers a social aspect to your outdoor activity and keeps you motivated.

Adapting outdoor activities for physical limitations

Don't let physical limitations stop you from enjoying the outdoors. Here are some tips and equipment that can help:

  • Choose low-impact activities: Opt for gentle walks, birdwatching, or gardening instead of strenuous hikes or sports.
  • Adaptive equipment: Utilise tools with extended handles for easier gardening, lightweight folding chairs for resting during walks, or comfortable walking poles for improved balance.
  • Modify existing activities: Shorten walking routes, use a gardening stool for kneeling support, or choose lower-maintenance plants for easier care.

Staying comfortable and safe outdoors

Unpredictable weather and safety concerns shouldn't deter you from venturing outside. Here's how to be prepared:

  • Dress in layers: Wear breathable clothing like base layers, fleece jackets, and a rain jacket that allows for easy layering depending on the temperature and weather conditions.
  • Waterproof gear: Invest in a good-quality rain jacket and comfortable walking boots with good tread to keep you dry and provide traction on wet surfaces.
  • Sun protection: Wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses year-round to protect yourself from the sun's harmful rays.
  • Hydration: Carry a reusable water bottle and stay hydrated, especially on warm days.
  • Walking poles: Consider using walking poles for added stability, particularly on uneven terrain.
  • Personal safety device: Wearing a personal alarm or medical alert system can provide peace of mind and allow you to call for help if needed.

Additional things to consider

  • Start slow and gradually increase the duration and intensity of your outdoor activities.
  • Plan your outings: Look for routes with benches for rest breaks, and choose well-lit paths for early morning or evening walks.
  • Go with a friend or family member: Having company can make your outdoor adventures more enjoyable and provide an extra layer of safety.
  • Check the weather forecast: Plan your activities based on the weather conditions, and avoid venturing out in extreme heat or icy conditions.
  • Stay informed: Research local wildlife and be aware of potential risks in different areas.
  • Most importantly, have fun! Embrace the opportunity to connect with nature, get some fresh air, and enjoy the beauty of Plymouth's outdoors.

Where to buy equipment to help you enjoy your outdoor hobbies

Plymouth City Council, NHS Devon, and Livewell Southwest have jointly commissioned NRS Healthcare to deliver the Safe+Well service, and they have over 2,500 daily living aids that you can purchase by mail order, telephone, or online.

View the Plymouth Safe+Well website

NRS has a dedicated phone line with a trained team of specialists who can answer any questions you might have. Just call 0345 6461860.

Other places to buy equipment from:

You might also like 

  • Free assessment tool: Select the area of difficulty that is relevant to you. You will then be asked a few questions to guide you towards helpful daily living aids. 
  • Free telephone advice line: Complete the online form, and we will contact you to arrange a convenient time to call.

Places to visit in Plymouth

  • The National Trust 
    Manages several beautiful gardens and estates in Plymouth, offering stunning landscapes and peaceful walks. Many offer a wheelchair-accessible routes and disabled toilet facilities.
  • Plymouth City Council Parks and Open Spaces 
    Provides a list of parks and green spaces within Plymouth, perfect for walking, picnicking, or simply enjoying nature. Many parks have benches and accessible paths.



Continue reading

Outdoor Hobbies Quote


Is the information correct?

Let us know if the information on this page is wrong and needs to be updated.

Want to create a page on the Plymouth Online Directory?  Register for free and add a page - it only takes a few minutes.


Share this page

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share by email