Staying active is one of the best ways to thrive during the winter months. These seven senior-friendly fitness activities are worth considering.
Winter can be tough if you live in a cold climate like Saratoga Springs. Before the season is over, a senior may find that a mild case of cabin fever is turning in to a serious case of depression. Exercise is one strategy health professionals recommend for beating the winter blues.
If the idea of heading outside for a walk or driving through the snow to a local fitness club isn’t appealing, finding a few indoor winter fitness activities you enjoy might be the solution.
7 Winter Fitness Activities for Seniors
Here are a few ideas to help you remain active from the warmth and safety of your home this winter.
- Go4Life: The National Institute on Aging (NIA) designed their Go4Life program to make it easier for seniors to stay active and fit. The program shares free tools and resources online including exercise guides and videos.
- Strength training: Maintaining muscle mass is important for protecting core strength and avoiding falls, which is a leading cause of disability for seniors. Unfortunately, it becomes increasingly difficult to do as we grow older. Tufts University and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention worked together to develop a free guide called, Growing Stronger: Strength Training for Older Adults. This resource provides an assessment tool, suggestions for setting goals, and a workbook to track your progress.
- Chair yoga: The health benefits of yoga range from lower blood pressure to stronger bones and muscles. A senior-friendly version is chair yoga. It is designed so an older adult can participate from a seated position. Whether it is by purchasing a DVD or streaming an online class, yoga is a great form of exercise to do at home when the winter winds blow.
- Recumbent bike: Cycling, even if it is on an adult tricycle, is a relatively safe form of exercise during warm months of the year. It gives older adults an opportunity to socialize with neighbors along the way. During the winter months, you can keep your body fit by cycling on a recumbent bike. This offers older adults the health benefits of biking, but in a safe, reclined position.
- Tai Chi: When it comes to building strength, flexibility, and stamina, this ancient Chinese martial art form is hard to beat. In addition to lowering a senior’s risk for falls, it can help to reduce the pain and symptoms of osteoarthritis. The Arthritis Foundation has a variety of free Tai Chi videos available that you can try.
- Resistance bands: Another exercise older adults might consider is working out with resistance bands. You can start with bands that offer less tension and progress to bands that are more challenging. YouTube has a variety of videos that you can use to get started.
- Pilates: A gentle form of exercise that has gained popularity is Pilates. This discipline helps to build flexibility and improve balance. Pilates can also help to calm and quiet the mind by teaching better breathing practices. Pilates Please and Chair Pilates are two free videos designed for older adults you can try.
An important reminder: talk with your physician before starting any new form of exercise.
The Wesley Community
Our beautiful Saratoga Springs, New York campus is home to a full continuum of care. From independent living and in-home care to assisted living and long-term care, residents have peace of mind in knowing their every need will be met. We extend an open invitation to visit and learn more about the area’s premier retirement community.