Retirement is a time when most older adults have more free time than ever before. Some choose to travel extensively, while others might explore new hobbies. No matter how you choose to spend your retirement, it’s important to make fitness a regular part of your life.

Seniors who fall into a sedentary lifestyle put their health in danger. In fact, some researchers say spending too much time sitting is as dangerous as smoking for older adults. As we head into another Midwest winter, seniors should talk with their primary care physician about indoor fitness activities.

Activities to Stay Fit in Retirement

Without a doubt, winter in Michigan and Indiana can limit outdoor activities for older adults. Cold weather, ice, and snow keep many people indoors. But there are a variety of senior-friendly indoor fitness options. Not only will they help you or a senior loved one avoid the hazards of a sedentary life, but they might also aid in preventing falls.

Here are some fitness ideas to discuss with your doctor:

  • Walking: While it might seem boring and not strenuous enough, walking is actually a very good form of physical fitness. In addition to the cardiovascular benefits, it can also decrease stress and improve balance. In warmer months, the only equipment required is a pair of sturdy walking shoes. For inclement weather days, a home treadmill can be ideal.
  • Go4Life: If you prefer a more goal-oriented, structured exercise program, consider Go4Life. This free program, created by the National Institute on Aging at NIH, makes it easier to focus on fitness. It offers a variety of fitness resources for seniors, from workout videos to tools for tracking goals and progress.
  • Chair yoga: One benefit of yoga for seniors is how easy it is to practice from a seated position. Chair yoga builds strength and endurance while protecting balance and mobility. Each is essential for fall prevention. There are many free videos online to help seniors learn at home. Check out Gentle Chair Yoga for Beginners and Seniors and Chair Yoga Stretch for Beginners, Seniors & Everyone.
  • Tai Chi: Tai Chi combines slow, steady movements with breath control. Because it is gentle on the body, it can be a good option for older adults to incorporate exercise into their fitness routine. Many senior centers and fitness clubs offer classes. “Tai Chi for Arthritis” is a good resource to learn more and get started.
  • SilverSneakers: Joining a fitness program designed especially for older adults can be less intimidating than those offered to the general public. One to explore is a program known as SilverSneakers. Insurance companies often include it for free in their member benefits for seniors. Visit the SilverSneakers website to check if your health insurance plan participates.
  • Cycling: Another idea is bike riding. It’s a great fitness activity indoors or out. If you’re nervous about bicycle accidents, investing in the increasingly popular adult tricycle might be an option. When it’s raining or snowing out, a recumbent bike might be useful. You can probably find a good used one for a reasonable price at a local garage sale or Facebook marketplace. These cycling tips for seniors can help an older adult get started.
  • Swimming: If your local fitness center has a warm therapy pool, it can provide a good form of fitness all year round. Swimming improves flexibility, stamina, balance, and sleep quality. In addition to these benefits, it’s also easy on older joints.

Unique Wellness Model at Heritage

At Heritage Senior Communities, we take a unique approach to wellness. It’s a holistic philosophy that nurtures the body, mind, and spirit. See it for yourself when you schedule a visit to a community near you today!