How Seniors Can Stay Physically Active During Winter Months
Remaining active in the winter months is challenging for anyone, but it’s especially challenging for seniors. Seniors are at a higher risk for slipping, falling, and the cold weather can stiffen the joints. While it may be challenging to get out and move around in the cold weather, it is a requirement. As the body ages the need for physical activity increases. To stave off the dizzy spells and balance issues, remaining active after retirement can help seniors lead a more happy, healthy and prolonged life.
Luckily, there are several ways for older adults and seniors to remain active and healthy during the winter months.
An ice-cold glass of water is very refreshing during the summer and is necessary to remain hydrated during warmer months. It’s also crucial to remain hydrated during the winter. If you find yourself drinking less water during the winter, try drinking decaffeinated teas. Hot water with lemon and honey will work, too. Fruits and vegetables have a high water count; try eating strawberries, oranges, cucumber and tomatoes. As long as you’re consuming 8-glasses of water a day, you will stay hydrated. The body needs water to function properly and water helps the body to regulate its temperature. Maintaining hydration during the winter is extremely important because it helps to prevent you from getting sick during peak cold and flu season.
There’s an abundance of group workout classes that are geared towards older adults and seniors. Whether you’re looking for a low-impact aerobics class, group swimming class or a Zumba class, try your local YMCA’s and gyms. A great benefit of group workout classes is that they allow seniors to socialize with people their age, and it gets them out of the house. Plus, these classes help with mental health, since isolation is a common feeling for seniors, by being in a class with similar people it can reduce the feeling of loneliness and isolation.
It can be challenging to motivate yourself to get out of the house and work out when it’s cold and icy outside. Swimming is the perfect low-impact workout. It’s an ideal workout for seniors, because it’s low risk, a full-body workout, and low impact. If you’re struggling with arthritis then you know just how painful it can be to workout, swimming offers people with chronic joint pain some sweet relief. Since it’s not a weight-bearing sport, swimming keeps the pressure off of your knees, hips and spine. Not only is it good for your joints, but swimming is also great on the heart! It makes your heart stronger, lowers blood pressure and helps to reduce the risk of heart and lung disease.
If you’re disabled, chair-bound, or have limited mobility, there are a variety of exercises you can do sitting down.
There are three types of exercise:
- Strength training
- Flexibility exercises
If you’re not bound to a wheel-chair but still have a hard time moving, swimming makes for a great cardio workout while giving your joints a break. There’s also chair aerobics, which is a seated series of repetitive movements. These exercises will raise your heart rate and help you to burn calories. If you’re looking to build muscle, use hand weights and resistance bands. An easy way to get a quality cardio workout from your chair is a portable pedal exerciser. Place it on the floor in front of your feet and pedal while watching TV, reading, or knitting.
Before jumping into a new workout routine, consult your doctor first. If you’re thinking about trying out a new form of exercise schedule an appointment with your general practitioner and ask about your limitations. Also, your doctor will let you know what exercises your body can handle.
If you or a loved one begins to notice signs of a slipping mind or a decrease in physical abilities, please reach out to Oasis Senior Advisors for assistance. We offer resources for seniors and their families, as well as support and guidance every step of the way so that you can feel confident in your loved ones’ future.