Winter is a time of year we all experience a little less physical activity– even the most active and fit of us can let the winter months slow down their exercise and physical activity. The same is true for seniors, especially when going outside can even have increased health risks. With cooler temperatures and other environmental factors like slippery ice, it’s natural for your elder loved ones to slip even more into a sedentary lifestyle.
Why Exercise for Seniors is Important
Exercise is good for your body, but also good for your brain. Not only can regular exercise and physical activity keep your loved one more physically fit, but it also releases endorphins in the brain that can increase happiness. Exercise can make us feel more fulfilled, and specifically with the senior population, it can help provide a source of fun and satisfaction that makes every day, especially the cold, winter days, even more enjoyable.
Senior Living Activities
A variety of senior centers and assisted living facilities provide regular exercise groups and activities that are open for seniors to participate in. These are always the best options for getting started and make the exercise easier when surrounded by peers and people of similar physical ability. Senior and assisted living facilities offer everything from yoga to Zumba, so there is almost always something for each different ability level. However, to keep your loved one’s mind and body satisfied, you may look into additional opportunities outside the centers.
Dancing is a wonderful exercise. Not only is it a great work out, but it often helps seniors harken back to their younger days, which brings up new opportunities for happiness and remembrance that can have an even greater impact than the exercise itself. There is also a sense of community in dance class, which is a great opportunity for people to make new friends. Besides, let’s just face it– dancing is infectious and it is almost impossible not to be happy when you’re moving your feet.
Swimming is a great activity for the winter months because it allows you a mental break from the cold by being in a warmer, swimming environment. Water exercises are also lower impact on your body, which can be a huge advantage for seniors with joint or other pain. There are also options for water aerobics, which may be a better fit if your loved one isn’t a particularly strong swimmer.
Walking is a popular, low impact activity for seniors, but during the winter walking can often come to a halt. Look for indoor walking opportunities. Local gyms and community centers may have an indoor walking path, or the more adventurous might try a treadmill. There are always large indoor shopping centers and malls or local colleges and universities that offer opportunities to get in a lot of steps while staying in the warm indoors.
Senior and Assisted Living Residents
Staying active in winter is a challenge– but it is so important, especially for our elderly loved ones. When you choose to place your loved one in quality assisted living care, you know their physical activity needs will be met. At Foxtail Assisted Living, we provide opportunities for exercise right on site, as well as transportation for our residents as needed, so they can pursue their passions however they choose. With Foxtail, it’s never been easier for your loved one to live their life to the fullest. Learn more by contacting us today.