Indoor Exercises for Seniors to Enjoy In Winter
Monday Oct 25th, 2021
The weather outside may get frightful — but that doesn’t have to make your winter any less delightful!
It’s been an unpredictable season, full of changing temperatures of cold and rain. For seniors it can be frustrating not knowing what a winter’s day will bring. Many adults start to feel cooped up during the winter months, experiencing “cabin fever” and all of the feelings that go along with it — including sadness, lethargy and irritabilty. The winter months can also make it challenging to keep up with the health and fitness routines.
One of the best ways to feel energized, healthy, and positive during the long, cold winter is to help engage in exercise and physical activity. While the icy whipping winds may make it difficult to go outside or head to the local gym, there are still plenty of ways for seniors to stay active, without ever leaving their home!
Here are indoor exercises and activities perfect for helping the older adult in your life work on their endurance, strength, balance and flexibility all winter long:
Walking is a healthy, invigorating, and nourishing form of exercise for people of all ages. For older adults, walking is an easy and low impact way to stay mobile and active. Throughout the years, an enormous (and still growing) body of research has highlightedthe health benefits of walking which include improved cardiovascular health; a stronger immune system; stronger bones, muscles, and joints; better sleep habits, improved mood; and greater longevity. If it’s too cold to go out, encourage your loved one to walk around the house, or offer them a ride to a local mall or gym, where they can enjoy a stroll.
2. Doing Chores Around the House
In addition to helping keep their household clean organized and safe, doing light housework can offer some enormous benefits to seniors. For instance, one prominent study found that doing routine chores around the house was hugely influential in keeping older adults up and moving, while also providing a meaningful sense of purpose. Additional research suggests that the exercise provided by simple housework May be helpful in protecting senior's brain health well into their 70's and 80's.
3. Balance Exercises
Helping your senior loved one improve their balance is one way to help minimize their risk for suffering a severe fall — and it’s certainly possible to work on this important function indoors, even on a cold winter’s day. A few different indoor exercises that can help seniors focus on their balance, including leg raises, toe stands, and core stretches.
4. Yoga and Tai Chi
Drawing from eastern cultural practices, yoga and tai chi can offer remarkable health benefits to people of all ages. For seniors, these forms of movement are low impact and can help work many different muscle groups and joints at once, helping seniors improve their flexibility, balance, and strength in one easy routine. Meanwhile, both yoga and tai chi have been shown to help reduce stress levels while boosting participants’ moods and energy levels.
5. Light Dancing
What’s not to love about dancing? If your senior loved one is up to it, play a little music and encourage everyone — including grandkids and family caregivers — to show off their moves. Dancing is a great form of aerobic Exercise that helps activate many different parts of the body, allowing older adults to stretch their muscles, build strength, and increase flexibility while enjoying an elevated heart rate. Studies ahve shown that dancing on a regular basis can help reduce stress, minimize symptoms of depression, and help lead to increased energy levels.
6. Light Resistance Training
For seniors, strength training is a great way to remain active and mobile over time. There are many different ways that older adults can practice strength training during the cold winter months. For a light workout with no additional equipment, help your loved one do some “body weight” exercises, such as squats or gentle push-ups. You can also help your loved one exercise with light hand weights or resistance bands, a popular tool in many types of physical therapy.
7. Fitness Apps and Videos
Many older adults will fondly remember the era of the workout tape. Today, older adults have more options than ever when it comes to getting guided fitness advice and exercises. For instance, the Silver Sneakers Program — allows older adults to access an on-demand video library of classes, workouts, and how-to videos from their computer. There are also many fitness DVD programs aimed at older adults, and many video game systems, smartwatches, smart speakers, and fitness apps have programs and settings specially designed for helping seniors monitor their health and work towards there fitness goals
8. Let a personal trainer help you
Want to go beyond walking and work toward a more healthy body? A personal trainer might be the best way to take things to the next level. They have experience in designing training plans for all ages and will take into account your fitness level so you’ll be challenged while not overdoing your muscle groups.
A personal trainer can meet you at your gym, or they can come to your home. With In Your Home Therapy, you can set up exercise time on your own time in your own home. The trainers are experienced with assisting seniors and can help you keep moving indoors to prepare you for enjoying an active summer outdoors soon!