Cold weather combined with the fear of falling on icy surfaces can make it understandably difficult for anyone – never mind seniors – to stay active in the wintertime. However, this is perhaps the most important time of year for seniors to keep moving. It’s tempting to stay all wrapped up in blankets on the couch, but succumbing to a sedentary lifestyle during the cold months can have negative effects on both physical and mental health. That’s why our care teams at UMC have put together a few exercise and lifestyle tips for older adults that can make it easier to keep active and manage the obstacles that come with winter.
#1 – Research fun virtual classes
There are some fantastic classes available on YouTube that cover every kind of activity, age range, and ability you can imagine – and they can all be performed in the comfort and warmth of your own home. Look for senior yoga, senior fitness exercises, and senior pilates for a start, and try out some different instructors to find someone you like. Some instructors also offer live classes where you can join via Skype or Zoom, which can be very helpful if you are a beginner, need a little extra guidance, or simply find it more motivating to work out in a group.
#2 – Check out those indoor pools
Most gyms and community centers have warm indoor pools and a schedule of activities aimed at all ages. You can try out different classes for swimming, aqua-fit, or water aerobics right the way through winter, with the bonus of getting some warm, summer-like activities in while it’s cold outside! Swimming has some great benefits, including improved muscle tone and cardiovascular fitness, giving you a full-body workout without stressing your joints.
#3 – Dance around the house
Everyone loves a dance party, and it’s the perfect way to get a little fit when you’re snowed in! Put on your favorite music, make sure you have a clear area where you can boogie, and dance your way through your day. Dancing works up a surprising sweat and it’s enjoyable too, improving coordination and balance, uplifting your mood, and boosting cardiovascular health – especially if you sing along too.
#4 – Get a personal trainer
Personal trainers aren’t just for A-list celebrities, but they’ll certainly make you look and feel like one! Look for a personal trainer in your area who has experience dealing with any health concerns you may have, whether it’s an aching knee, diabetes, or weight management. They’ll either be able to set you up at their gym for training or even be able to come to your house to help you work out right at home. Personal trainers are great because they can give you advice based on your exact concerns and needs, which means you get healthy and fit faster and in a much more enjoyable way!
#5 – Work out with the weather
Too much routine can get a little boring and demotivating, so mix up your physical activity. If it’s a slightly warmer winter day, call up a neighbor or friend for a walk outdoors in the fresh air. If the weather is turning, hit the gym for a relaxing swim in the warm water, and fit in dance classes, home-based personal training, and online classes as you like. This will help give you a much more well-rounded level of fitness, improving mobility and strength, while giving you entertainment and opportunities to socialize, an outlet for stress, and improving your sleep.
Healthy senior living in Sussex County, NJ
Bristol Glen is part of the United Methodist Community network, a collection of senior living and assisted living communities in New Jersey dedicated to supporting abundant, independent living. We’re proud to say that our CCRC in Sussex County earned a place on the U.S. News Best Nursing Homes and Short-Stay Rehabilitation Lists, reflecting our dedication to our residents and the state of their health!
If you want to find out more about our approach to assisted living in New Jersey, then please get in touch today or visit our website at https://bristolglen.umcommunities.org/
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