Winter can be a challenging time for seniors to engage in fitness activities. While most areas have parks where you can walk or ride a bike, they can be frigid and icy when the mercury drops. Driving to a fitness club when road conditions are poor can also be more of a hazard than it’s worth.
That’s why it’s a good idea to create a list of winter fitness activities before the snow begins to fly. Here are a few ideas you might want to explore.
Senior Fitness Ideas for Winter
- Chair yoga: Yoga helps build core strength and endurance. Even performing it from a seated position yields many health benefits. This YouTube video from Yoga With Adriene provides a good introduction for older adults.
- Tai Chi: This ancient form of Chinese martial arts builds strength, endurance, and flexibility. It produces good results in a safe, low-impact manner. Faithfully performing Tai Chi a few times a week will lead to better balance and lower risk for falls. These Tai Chi videos on the Arthritis Foundation website will help you learn more.
- Strength training: As we grow older, muscle strength begins to diminish. That’s why it’s important to engage in strength training exercises a few times a week. Resistance bands and small weights are easy for older adults to use. One free resource seniors might find helpful is called Growing Stronger: Strength Training for Older Adults. It was developed by Tufts University and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Download it to learn how to set goals and track your progress.
- Go4Life: Another comprehensive resource for seniors to explore was created by the National Institute on Aging (NIA). The Go4Life program makes it easier for older adults to stay active and fit in the privacy of their own homes. The program includes free tools and resources, such as exercise guides and tracking tools.
- Cycling: Riding a bicycle is a relatively safe form of exercise for older adults when the weather is warm. During winter, you can continue cycling on a recumbent bike at home. Recumbent bikes promote the same health benefits as cycling, but in a safe, reclined position.
As is true before starting any new form of exercise, talk with your primary care physician first.
Wellness Activities at Heritage Senior Communities
Because we understand the important role fitness plays in successful aging, Heritage Senior Communities offer a variety of activities for residents to engage in every day. From stretching and gardening to walking groups and senior aerobics, we invite you to call the community nearest you to learn more today!