The benefits of an active lifestyle for seniors are well documented – from helping control and combat physical conditions as well as elevating moods and overall happiness. The colder weather can certainly be a challenge, but shouldn’t prevent older adults from participating in a number of fun winter activities they are comfortable with, or even from finding new activities that can be mentally and physically stimulating.
To help seniors maintain the benefits of an active lifestyle, we put together a list of fun winter activities specifically suited for older adults.
1)Become A Member At The Local Gym
If a senior spends their warmer months outside jogging, walking, or swimming, then the easiest answer for continuing their active lifestyle is to find an indoor facility that offers the same activities, such as a local YMCA or gym. As a bonus, many private gyms also offer discounted senior pricing for those looking to sign up. If these activities are comfortable and part of a senior’s regular routine, an indoor gym offers the opportunity for an older adult to continue their exercise routine during the colder winter months.
2)Take A Walk At The Mall
This is a great idea for seniors looking to get exercise and surround themselves with other people. Many malls open their doors earlier than the stores and shops inside, offering a period of time with less crowds where a senior can easily stroll without worrying about too much foot traffic. If it’s around the holiday season, older adults can also get some shopping done and find gifts for family and loved ones.
3)Take A New Class At A Local Senior Center
Whether it be cooking, ballroom dancing, tai-chi, or an exercise boot camp, local senior centers typically offer a wide variety of classes for older adults, helping to keep them physically and mentally stimulated during the winter months. While activities like Tai-Chi or ballroom dancing may be new experiences, they are great ways to build balance and improve cardiovascular performance. The social aspect of winter activities is just as important. Being around others and having fun together as older adults is an important element in fighting off seasonal depression or loneliness.
4)Bowling or Bingo
Both are indoor activities for the winter months that offer a great social setting for older adults. Bowling, when done regularly, is a great physical activity that can strengthen muscles and balance. Bingo may not be the best game for staying fit while remaining indoors, but this is a great game that encourages mental stimulation and offers a great way for seniors to socialize and make new friends.
Sometimes it can be simply too cold or hazardous for older adults to go outside, but this should not stop them from being active. There are numerous exercise DVDs and video programs available for seniors to follow along with in the comfort of their own home. Many of these programs are available on demand through their cable package or can be purchased on DVD at the local superstore. If the senior has an in-home streaming device such as an Apple TV or Roku, there are fitness specific apps that they can download and follow. These programs can range from the more advanced that require purchased weights or exercise equipment to calisthenics and exercises done with simply just their own body weight.
The old notion that video games are for couch potatoes is a thing of the past thanks to systems like the Nintendo Wii. Despite being a few years old, this system offers numerous games and activities that are fun while standing and being active. Games like Wii bowling or Wii tennis are great alternative options of cardio during the winter months. They are also a great opportunity for older adults to play with their younger family members at get-togethers and visits.
7)Arts & Music
While staying physically active is important, aging adults should also make sure to participate in winter activities that keep them mentally active as well. Artistic and musical activities, such as learning a new instrument or taking a painting class, are great sources of mental stimulation that have a plethora of health benefits associated with them. Several studies show that art can reduce depression and anxiety that are often symptomatic of chronic diseases. Other research shows that the imagination and creativity of older adults can flourish in later life, helping them to realize unique potential, even when suffering from Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.
If you or a senior in your life are looking for assistance in staying active during the winter months, SameAddress offers numerous in-home services that can help. Feel free to give us a call today at 1-866-SENIOR-1.