In the cold months of the year, when going outside is not as much of an option, people may find it difficult to get adequate exercise. Thinking of outdoor activities can be challenging, but it is still possible to stay active, even when it’s snowing! Older adults shouldn’t let the winter months turn them into couch potatoes; there are so many health benefits that come from regular exercise, so it shouldn’t be ignored. Below are some ideas for seniors to help stay active during the winter.
Find An Indoor Pool
If at all possible, find an indoor pool to use. Swimming is a low-impact activity which is great for the joints and the muscles, and it’s especially beneficial for people suffering from arthritis.Water exercises have been shown to increase strength, flexibility, and agility among older adults, as well as improve cholesterol levels.
Try Exercises & Stretches At Home
If going to a pool or gym is not possible, there are other activities that can be done at home. In the age of the internet, looking up exercise videos is always a possibility. Yoga is a fantastic way for older adults to improve flexibility, improve balance, and keep bones healthy. There are also a variety of stretches and balance exercises that can be done at home to improve mobility and reduce the risk of falls. Bodyweight exercises or other calisthenics like sit-ups or squats are also great ways that older adults can improve strength and coordination.
Look Into Home Equipment
Investing in some exercise equipment at home can be a great way for older adults to add some extra strength or cardio training to their regimen. A basic pair of dumbbells can be used to burn fat and build muscle in the arms, chest, and back with various exercises. Larger machines like ellipticals or stationary bikes are also great for improving cardiovascular health. These machines are better for older adults than treadmills, as they’re lower impact and aren’t as hard on the knees.
Just because outdoor conditions aren’t ideal during the winter months, it doesn’t mean that older adults can’t stay active. Whether it’s exercising at the pool or the gym, walking around the mall, or working out at home, any type of exercise is better than none. It may be tempting to take it easy during the winter, but older adults need exercise just as much as anyone else, if not more so. Orchard at Brookhaven has programs to ensure that our residents are getting adequate exercise when it’s cold outside. Contact us to learn more about programs and approach to care.