As we continue to venture through the winter months, senior may find themselves spending more time inside. Because of this, they might be restricted from engaging in their routine outdoor exercises like biking and walking. However, just because they feel like they’ve been sequestered indoors, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t continue engaging in an active senior living and lifestyle. Just because you are on a break from outdoor activities, doesn’t mean your body is on a break.
Reasons for Active Senior Living During the Winter
According to a study from the National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health, around sixty-seven percent of the older population are sedentary for around an average of eight and a half hours a day. That’s on an average day. Likely, in colder days, most seniors are stuck inside more often. Meaning that sedentary time is longer. Long lapses of sedentary can lead to several problems in seniors like the following:
- Hearth Disease
- Metabolic Disorders like obesity and diabetic risk
- Sleeping Problems like Hypertension and Insomnia
- Mental Issues (depression, dementia, etc.)
Good amounts of exercise and a healthy diet can lead to a better and more active senior living lifestyle during the colder months. While the diet can be handled through proper personal management (or by the staff in your assisted/independent living community), finding replacement indoor activities for your outdoor exercises shouldn’t be that hard if you don’t mind doing something different.
Exercises Seniors Should Do During the Colder Months
Thankfully, there are a wide variety of fun and engaging indoor activities and exercises for seniors like yourself. That is because a majority of assisted and independent living communities provide their own gyms and staff that are experienced in maintaining their residents’ health year-round. Here’s what you can expect regarding indoor exercises.
Swimming and Water Aerobics
Many senior living communities outdoor provide their residents with an indoor pool for everyone’s enjoyment and personal health. Swimming is popular with all ages, especially seniors. A good reason to be an active swimmer is because swimming can help relieve pain in the body caused by issues like arthritis and heart problems. While swimming laps can be a nice replacement for jogging outside, you can do other activities like water aerobics classes.
Tai Chi and Yoga
Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese form of martial arts that involves slow, controlled movement in the body. This low-impact exercise improves balance, stamina, and strength in seniors over time. Several senior living communities offer tai chi classes that are taught by an experienced instructor, since they know the benefits it can bring to their residents.
Yoga, while a different form of low-impact exercises than Tai Chi, is another exercise that is commonly seen in active senior living communities. That is because Yoga also provide several benefits to those who practice it like reduced swelling joints and muscles, improved blood flow, fighting off anxiety, and many others.
Using Indoor Gym Exercise Equipment
Active senior living communities always manage to provide its residences with the best exercise equipment available. Since they do, seniors should get a good amount of indoor exercising activity from them.
One of the top choices for indoor exercising is cycling. Using a recumbent bike can provide the necessary cardiovascular activity for your body while going easy on your joints. Since your body does get use to the same kind of activity, consider switching out the recumbent bike with other cardiovascular exercise machines like the treadmill, rowing machine, and/or elliptical. Keeping a good rotation of cardio exercises helps keep your senior body active and healthy.
In addition to cardio, seniors need to maintain their muscles by lifting weights. While we don’t expect seniors to deadlift hundreds of pounds every single day, some light lifting will go a long way. The best method for senior weight lifting is using dumb bells. Experts say that seniors should focus on three major areas of their body when lifting weights: their back, the upper body, and their lower body.
Other Sources of Indoor Exercise for Seniors
Aside for the services and equipment provided by the community, you can have an active senior living lifestyle through other means. Thanks to youtube, there are several exercise channels, especially some that are geared towards seniors (like the channel HASfit). There are a wide variety of books and websites out there that help seniors be more physically active during the indoor winter months. A bit searching can help you find the one that suits you the best.
So, during these winter months, don’t let the cold weather and snow stop you from having a healthy senior lifestyle. You just need to be resourceful and be open to new methods of exercising.