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5 Winter Activities for Older Adults That Can Keep You Active!

5 Winter Activities for Older Adults That Can Keep You Active!
What can you do to stay active if you are an older adult and being out in the cold, or on snow and ice, is not a good idea, and frankly not even safe? We have a few ideas to help you get through the winter months while maintaining strength and endurance – critical to health and safety.

Join a Gym with a Pool!

Nowadays tons of YMCA’s are available, as well as other fitness facilities that have pools (and senior discounts). In many instances these facilities will offer water aerobics and other fitness classes specifically designed for older adults. These types of classes are low impact and offer huge aerobic benefits. If you are a swimmer, take advantage of their adult swim times and keep up with your laps. All activities in the pool, especially with a lifeguard on deck, are great for your overall health and can prevent impact injury.

Pump that iron!

You may think lifting weights is only a younger man or woman’s game, but it’s not. Lifting weights is a great way to build muscle, spark your metabolism, maintain muscles critical to balance and improve bone strength. There is nothing wrong with lower weights and more repetitions and if you need help, rope in the support of the gym (see if you can get a free personal training session) or look up strength training for seniors tutorials on YouTube (did you know you can find ANYTHING on YouTube??)!

Set Up a Small Home Exercise Area at Home

You can do so much in your home nowadays that this may be the simplest answer for you! If you get some basic components, including resistance bands, a balance ball, an exercise mat, a small set of weights, and a good, sturdy arm chair, you can do some great resistance training and balance training right in the comfort of your home.

Again, check out YouTube for ideas to use in your home, like these Seated Exercises for Older Adults, from simple sitting and standing in a chair repeatedly, to more advanced balance exercises. Remember to do this safely, either with someone else in the home with you, or with plenty of support so you can build strength safely. If you are having physical therapy of any kind – either recovering from an injury or just working on body functions – ask for tips from your PT or occupational therapist as well!

Another great tip for home fitness is simple things like grip strengtheners and therapy putty for hand strength and mobility and if you are active and mobile enough, a small trampoline for light jumping and low impact running in place.

Find a Silver Sneakers class!

What’s Silver Sneakers? Well, according to their website:
“Silver Sneakers is a FREE fitness program for seniors that’s helping millions of people on Medicare defy the odds, shatter stereotypes and answer every challenge with, “I can do this!” SilverSneakers includes access to every participating gym and fitness center in the network. That’s a membership at more than 15,000 locations. We also offer fitness classes for all abilities led by our SilverSneakers trained instructors at gyms and other locations” So head over to their website at: They even have an app for your smart phone, so check them out – this is a tremendous resource for older adults!

Tai Chi & Yoga

If you are looking for something gentler and more meditative, explore yoga or Tai Chi classes in your local community. Simple go to Google and type in Senior Yoga or Tai Chi and your zip code and all kinds of options may pop up. If not, look for a DVD online that you can use in your own home. These gentle movements may be more to your style and can be supportive of mindfulness, relaxation and stress and anxiety management at the same time.
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