Physical activity has been shown to improve health, memory, sleep, and the overall quality of life for seniors. It might be a bit more challenging to stay active this winter in Michigan and require seniors and family caregivers to take a few extra precautions to stay safe and healthy.
Tip for Senior Fitness during the Winter
Take a walk outside.
On more mild winter days, a walk outside isn’t out of the question. A walk around the block can provide seniors with mental stimulation and the physical benefits of exercise.
Make sure you dress appropriately and wear a hat, gloves, and comfortable shoes with good traction. If it is sunny, take measures to protect your eyes and skin.
Be careful of icy spots:
- Keep rock salt near the door to scatter on your walkways.
- Ask a friend or relative to help you clear away snow and ice.
- Inside, immediately take off your shoes and change any clothes that have gotten wet.
Take walks indoors.
When the weather outside is frightful (or you just don’t feel like bundling up), there are plenty of places with indoor walking options:
- Museums and art galleries
- Malls, other shopping centers, and even supermarkets
- Fitness centers with walking tracks
You can even workout in the safety of your own home. March in place, do stretches, or lift weights while you watch TV. Borrow workout videos from the library, or search YouTube for videos that can guide you through easy fitness routines.
Join a gym or YMCA.
Gyms are full of senior-friendly exercise options, including free weights, walking tracks, and treadmills. Staff members and personal trainers can help you create an individual fitness routine.
If possible, look for a facility with a pool. Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise, as it is low-impact and provides a full-body workout.
Many YMCAs in Michigan offer programs tailored to individuals with specific conditions, such as arthritis and diabetes.
Stay fit with a video game.
Many video games let you golf, bowl, and even bike right in the middle of your living room. Xbox and Nintendo Wii are two of the most popular consoles for fitness games, but there are many other options.
Caregivers, friends, or relatives can help seniors choose, hook up, and learn to use the video games. Most of these games can be used individually or in groups, making them great social activities.
Sign up for a class.
Many community organizations offer classes that can help you get moving, such as yoga or Pilates. Ask local libraries, senior centers, rec centers, and churches about classes they may have.
Even if an organization doesn’t provide classes, someone may be able to direct you to social groups based on physical activities, such as walking or swimming clubs.
Let the experts help.
At Heritage Senior Communities, you don’t have to worry about winter inactivity. Each of our locations offers a variety of activities year-round, including a daily exercise schedule, fitness rooms with exercise equipment, and Wii bowling.
Contact the experts at Heritage Senior Communities to learn more about how we help seniors lead healthy, joyful lives.