With the cold weather and snow well under way, it’s a good idea to keep older adults indoors for the season. The frigid temperatures can be harmful, and there is an increased risk for slipping on the ice or driving in poor road conditions. However, they still need to get adequate exercise. Exercise is extremely important, even at an older age. It has countless benefits, including improving health and boosting mood. It has even been linked to helping with mobility and improving symptoms of illnesses and diseases such as Alzheimer’s. It might not be as easy to get to a gym or activity center, so finding ways to work out in the home is crucial during the colder months.
Seniors should utilize whatever indoor facility they can for walking space. Walking laps around their senior living home (or the mall or a museum if they can safely leave their home) is a helpful way to get their heart rate up without enduring the cold.
Stretching, Yoga, and Tai Chi
Stretching is an activity seniors can do almost anywhere. It will increase flexibility and mobility, and should be incorporated into a weekly routine. The gentle, flowing movements of both Tai Chi and yoga are incredibly calming and great stress reducers. Seniors can go at their own pace, too.
Group classes taught at their senior home (or the local community center or the YMCA if they can safely leave their home) are extremely beneficial. Not only is a group setting a productive, encouraging environment, it’s also a fun one that seniors will immensely enjoy. It gets the blood pumping and smiles on their faces.
Seniors can participate in exercise videos or follow along with a fitness app with little or no extra equipment needed. This is great for older individuals that don’t feel comfortable working out in a group setting. Similarly, practicing different balance and strengthening moves can be implemented in place of exercise videos.
Swimming is a great, low-impact workout for seniors. Not only does it increase mobility and flexibility, but it increases strength and improves cardiovascular fitness.
A stationary bike can help alleviate the symptoms of arthritis and improve blood pressure. Cycling is a great, low-impact exercise and seniors can go at their own pace.
When summer rolls around, it might be too hot to exercise outdoors, so these tips are great when temps heat up!