Winter can be tough on the waistline, especially if you live in a colder climate. The idea of going for a walk or heading out to the local fitness club when the cold winds are blowing might not be very appealing. This can lead to a more sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy weight gain.
What can an older adult do to stay fit indoors during the winter months?
We have a few ideas to help you work out from the warmth and safety of your own home this winter.
6 Ways to Exercise from Home this Winter
- Chair Yoga: This adapted version of yoga is designed to make it easier for older adults to perform exercises while safely seated in a chair. You can find a DVD online to purchase or you can follow along to Chair Yoga on YouTube.
- Recumbent bike: A recumbent bike offers older adults the health benefits of biking, but with the safety and stability that comes from cycling in a reclined position. You can usually find used recumbent bikes fairly inexpensively at garage sales or resale shops.
- Go4Life: The National Institute on Aging (NIA) designed the Go4Life program to help older adults stay active and fit. Their website shares free tools and resources, including a free home workout DVD.
- Tai Chi: This ancient Chinese marital art uses slow, deliberate movement to help older adults safely build strength, stamina and flexibility. It all adds up to improved balance and fewer falls. An added advantage is that it helps reduce the pain and symptoms associated with osteoarthritis. You can find tai chi exercise videos online at the Arthritis Foundation.
- Pilates: Another gentle form of exercise for older adults to consider is Pilates. Websites like Pilates Anytime have online classes older adults can follow from the comfort of their own living room. Some are free while others have a nominal membership fee.
- Strength training: Maintaining muscle mass is more difficult as we grow older. Adding strength training to your weekly fitness routine is important any time of year, but especially during the winter if you tend to be less active. Tufts University and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention joined forces to create Growing Stronger: Strength Training for Older Adults. You can download the guide at no cost.
One reminder that is true with any new form of exercise: talk with your physician for advice before getting started.
The Five Star Difference
At Five Star Senior Living, we know how important it is to stay active and engaged with life as we grow older. Our Lifestyle360 program makes it easier for residents to do just that. We focus on the five dimensions of wellness: intellectual, spiritual, emotional, social, and physical—to ensure each resident lives their best quality of life. Call us today to learn more!