Even Houston has a few cold days and long winter nights! It’s time to hibernate, right? Wrong! It’s important to fight that impulse to spend frosty days snuggled under a fuzzy blanket and sipping a warm cup of hot chocolate. Seniors and aging parents are spending less time outdoors so it’s time to find cold weather exercises that will keep older adults moving and active during the long winter months.
- Get into yoga. For those who have been resisting the yoga studio, winter may be the perfect time to break down and give this popular form of exercise a try. Yoga is an ideal physical activity for seniors; it gives the body a physical workout but does so gently and can be attempted at a level that is appropriate for each individual. In addition, yoga can help to relieve stress.
- Try iExercise. Many new media resources have exercise activities that are made for the indoors. A host of websites offer exercise instruction, as do video gaming platforms such as Wii and Game Boy. These may be virtual rather than live, but they offer the benefit of allowing seniors to pause programs when needed and to repeat exercise instructions. Finding an iExercise option of the appropriate level may take some trial and error, so aging parents and others should go slowly when starting.
- Put on those dancing shoes. Cutting a rug is good exercise and provides social interaction. Those who know how can put on some music at home and dance with someone special. Those who don’t already have dancing feet can find lessons at dance studios or community centers.
- Get wet. Many gyms, senior or community centers, and spas offer swimming pools that are open year round. Spending time doing a lap or two is both fun and great exercise. And water aerobic programs offer exercise options to fit all activity levels.
- Walk. Walking is one of the best exercises around. If it’s too cold to walk outside, check out the local mall.
A nip in the air doesn’t have to mean that aging parents and spouses go into hibernation mode. Finding ways to stay active during the cold weather (with appropriate approval from a doctor) is essential to staying healthy.