5 Ways for Seniors to Keep Active in the Winter

Are the winter blues getting you down? The shorter, colder and darker days may make you want to hibernate until spring. But it’s important to stay physically and mentally active in the winter, regardless of snowstorms and early sunsets. Here are 5 tips to keep Seniors motivated and engaged this season, so that they can stay healthy and happy all-year round.

1. Socialize With Friends

Social commitments tend to wind down in the winter and people gravitate towards staying indoors. But isolation can lead to a loss of energy and motivation, which in turn makes Seniors less likely to stay active. Consider encouraging your loved one to join a social group, such as a book club or knitting circle, or visit with friends or family as often as possible. Not only is socializing a great way to keep active, but it also lifts the spirits and inspires you to stay engaged in other areas of life.

2. Suit Up for Winter

If Seniors don’t have proper winter attire, then they will be more likely to sit at home and avoid venturing outdoors. Make sure they are equipped with warm clothing, including a hat, scarf and mittens, and a good pair of boots with traction. It’s also important to review winter safety tips, including the best way to prevent a fall. This will make outings safer and more comfortable, regardless of the cold weather.

3. Embrace The Cold and Walk

Walking is one of the best ways to stay physically and mentally healthy. A walk around your neighbourhood is a great excuse to break a sweat, and you get the added bonus of fresh air and sunshine. If you don’t feel comfortable walking alone, consider joining a walking group or asking a neighbour to join you. If it’s too cold outside, try an at-home yoga DVD, join a local seniors fitness class, or consider taking up weight lifting. Exercise improves your energy levels, keeps your mind and body strong, and helps prevent injuries.

4. Just Move

You don’t need to commit to a full workout to stay active. If fitness classes or at-home exercises aren’t feasible, then make an effort to get up every hour or so to walk around. Simply spending a few minutes stretching, moving from room to room, or tidying around the house is a great way to get your blood flowing. There’s no form of activity that isn’t good enough; as long as you’re getting off the couch, that’s what matters.

5. Exercise The Mind Too

Working your body isn’t the only way to stay active. Keeping your brain fit is just as important, especially in the winter when people tend to have fewer engagements. Find something you enjoy doing, whether it’s puzzles, crosswords, brainteasers or reading, and commit to doing it for at least an hour each day. Stimulating your mind will improve your memory, your mood and your health.