4 Ways Seniors Can Stay Active in Bad Weather Conditions
As a senior, you’re often told that one of the most important things you can do to maintain your physical and mental well-being is to engage in daily physical activity. Daily exercise is proven to help with increasing your mobility, cognitive function, strength and balance, and even preventing certain diseases. Ultimately, with daily physical activity, you’re able to keep your independence for longer.
On average, it is recommended that older adults aged 65+ should be getting around 2.5 hours of moderate exercise per week. While the go-to moderate exercise for many seniors involves a brisk walk outdoors, for those living in colder climates it can be difficult (and sometimes, dangerous) to do so outdoors.
As tempting as it can be to spend a cold or rainy day laying around indoors, finding the right kind of indoor activity can motivate you to get moving and beat the winter blues, without it feeling like a chore. We've outlined 4 different activities you can do to stay fit and active, even in bad weather conditions.
Practice Tai Chi
Tai chi is known for improving flexibility and stability in older adults and is even said to help reduce pain when done so regularly. What's particularly great about tai chi for seniors is that it doesn’t require a great amount of strength or coordination to do, especially for older adults that may have difficulties performing physical activities. As you don’t need equipment to practice tai chi, you can either choose to join a local class or follow along with beginner videos online.
Find a Community Centre Near You
Community centres offer a range of different indoor activities fit for older adults such as yoga classes, swimming programs, Zumba classes, pilates classes, mini-golf, and more. Community centres are an excellent option for those seeking to stay active in the winter as they not only offer these programs at low/affordable rates but are also run by professional instructors who can help seniors navigate these activities while avoiding injuries.
Walking is one of the most beneficial exercises for seniors, as it is known to reduce pain, lower blood sugar, improve heart health, and improve one’s mental health. If you find that it is too dangerous or cold to walk outdoors, walking can be done at the comfort of your own home by walking along hallways or by doing daily household chores. If you’re looking for a way to socialize with others while walking, create a walking group with friends and get your daily steps in at a local museum, indoor shopping mall, or gym.
Watch Online Fitness Videos or Join a Virtual Class
If you’re finding it difficult to step out of the house and exercise because of the cold, you can find a variety of different online fitness videos to specifically match your skills, strength level, and type of workout. The benefit of online fitness videos, especially ones tailored for seniors, is that they often don’t require much equipment to follow along.
While the cold weather makes it easy to want to skip out on getting your daily physical activity, there are a ton of ways to make sure you’re still exercising and keeping your physical and mental health in shape. It’s important to note that before beginning any new exercise routine, you should check in with your primary care doctor to receive expert opinions and tailored options on which exercise routine works best for you.