We get our fair share of cold weather in the winter. And oftentimes, these cooler temps can make it hard to get outside and get moving.
Experts have been saying this for decades – movement and regular exercise can reduce your risk for chronic health conditions, strengthen balance (which is important for seniors), and boost your mental health.
Everyone should aim to get around 30 minutes of physical activity per day, even seniors (those approximately 65 and older).
Here are some ways that our team of experienced at-home geriatric care specialists recommend staying active indoors during the cooler months:
Attend a virtual fitness class.
Seniors these days are more tuned into technology than ever before. Most are very comfortable with using a smartphone or tablet device as well as interfacing tools like Zoom and Facetime.
There are many gyms that offer virtual classes (and January is a great time to join up for the new year) or a variety of websites that provide virtual workouts and videos to follow along. Here are some good ones with workouts specifically for seniors to try: Senior Fitness with Meredith, Silver Sneakers, and Native Path.
Work out with a friend.
Find a friend, or family member, whose company you enjoy or one who you have been wanting to catch up with for a while, and schedule a time to virtually connect with them. While chatting, perform simple chair exercises together, light stretches, or easy yoga poses. It won’t even feel like working out at all!
’Schedule’ your physical activity into each day.
Carve out a dedicated time each day to get some movement in, especially when you know there’s a few cold days ahead and you likely won’t get outdoors. Find when you feel freshest and have the most energy during the day, whether it’s first thing in the morning or perhaps after a rejuvenating afternoon nap. Set alarms to help you remember this time each day, and a timer to ensure you are getting a sufficient amount of exercise.
Discover new ‘gym equipment’ at your home.
Simply finding new ways to use common household objects can be a fun inspiration to get moving and create a ‘gym’ at home. Here are some ideas:
- Soup cans or water bottles as hand weights
- A tightly rolled up towel as a resistance band
- A sturdy chair (one without wheels) can be used for a variety of seated exercises
- Pillows can be squeezed to perform repetitive tension-type drills between arms and legs or strengthen the core with these ab exercises
Turn household chores into workouts.
Simple activities such as sweeping, vacuuming and even folding clothes can offer some significant movement benefits. Make sure that you are steady on your feet while doing these chores, and try not to lift anything too heavy or reach for something too high as you are tidying up.
Blue Water Homecare offers specialized, safe, and comforting at-home care and dementia care. Our Parkinson’s Program is tailored to the unique needs of those affected by Parkinson’s Disease. If we can ever lend a hand in your loved one’s care, and provide peace of mind and respite for you, please contact us here for a complimentary consultation. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram.