Regardless of whether you love or hate winter weather, sometimes going outside for some exercise is impossible during the colder months. But even when it’s chilly, staying active is a must for health and happiness. Here are four great tips for active senior living when snow, ice, and freezing temperatures have you stuck inside:
1. Do simple exercises any time, anywhere
Who needs equipment? There are a variety of strength, flexibility, and balance exercises that don’t require anything but a stable floor. Be sure to stretch before working out, and talk to a doctor about which exercises are best for you.
- Squats: With your arms straight in front of you for balance, bend your knees slightly and hold for a few breaths.
- Push-ups: Try keeping your knees on the floor as you press your body up slowly.
- Seated toe-touch: Don’t worry if you can’t reach your toes right away. Go slow!
- Arm lifts: From a standing or seated position, lift your arm to shoulder height, then next to your ear, then bring it down to your side with control.
- One-legged stand: Use supports, and don’t lift your leg higher than it wants to go.
- Stair step-ups: No need for speed as you step onto a stair or low stool one foot at a time, then back down. Hold on one leg for a few breaths if possible.
Use walls, sturdy chairs, and handrails for support.
2. Hit the gym
Getting your cardio in is harder and less fun when you can’t head outside for a walk, run, or swim. Gym equipment like treadmills, stationary bikes, and ellipticals, as well as indoor pools, tennis courts, and more are great ways to keep your body moving when the outdoors isn’t an option. In an assisted living community, check out gym spaces and workout rooms; otherwise, check around local gyms to find an affordable option that works with your schedule.
3. Check out a fitness class
New fitness classes are springing up everywhere! Check out community boards, websites, and local gyms for senior-friendly courses. Try different variations of yoga, tai chi, low-impact barre, or dance classes like ballroom or Zumba. These fitness trends are exciting and get you motivated to exercise. The best part is that there’s a class for everyone!
4. Get active with gaming
Gaming isn’t just for couch potatoes any more. There are lots of fun games designed to get people interested in exercising. Take a look at Wii Fitness for the Nintendo Wii, which has a variety of mini-games, including yoga and strength training, stretches, and some silly exercises. You won’t even believe you’re working out!
A more recent development in gaming technology is virtual reality headsets. With these types of systems, you control the games with your body. These games get you moving, and they’re also great with family and friends. Try something new, and who knows? You might love it.
When exercising, always remember to not push yourself too far. Healthy, active senior living is about taking care of your mind and body all the time. Staying fit, limber, and strong contributes to overall wellness, so even when the weather outside is frightful, keep yourself moving!