While it might be easier to become a shut-in for the Winter, staying active has a lot of benefits. This is especially important for older individuals. Seasonal depression, cold weather, and shorter days can take their toll on your senior family members. But, staying active can help keep your loved one feeling healthier and happier. Below, we will discuss the importance of helping older loved ones stay active during the Winter months.
What Does Staying Active Entail?
For many older individuals, especially those who need help at home, staying active doesn’t mean signing up for a gym membership. Rather, it means taking steps to do exercises, however light, to help keep fit and feel healthier. Grandma probably won’t be doing deadlifts at the weight rack. But a chair yoga class or some light exercise at home can go a long way in the right direction. Consistent physical activity can help people at any age feel better and live healthier lives. Unfortunately, even the most active individuals tend to be less active during the Winter.
Healthy Muscles, Bones, and Joints
Keeping active helps strengthen the body. Regular exercise helps reduce bone loss from age. Exercise can help reduce inflammation in joints, and reduce symptoms of chronic conditions. These include diabetes, arthritis, and more.
Heart health can be greatly improved with physical activity. Staying active can reduce the risks of heart disease, heart attacks, high blood pressure, and stroke.
Staying Active and Improving Mood
Exercise and activity can help boost mood and curb Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Whether you take your loved one for a walk around the mall or some light exercise at home can make a difference. Exercise can also improve energy levels and help improve sleep cycles.
During cold and flu season, seniors are more prone to getting sick. However, physical exercise can help bolster the immune system. Reducing inflammation, as mentioned above, can also improve the immune response to disease or illness. Overall, exercise can reduce your loved one’s chance of getting sick, as well as improve recovery if they do.
Ways for Seniors to Stay Active in the Winter
While a walk around the block is often a good opportunity for exercise for older individuals, it may not be as feasible during the cold weather. Ice or snow can make this even more hazardous. Instead, we will list some alternatives to help your loved one stay active through the Winter. These may include senior exercise classes or activities they can do at home.
Opportunities for Staying Active Outside of the Home
- Chair yoga
- Water aerobics
- Walking around the mall
- Tai Chi
Opportunities for Staying Active Outside at Home
- Light dumbbell exercises
- Resistance band workouts
- Floor bike pedaller
- Chair workouts
Consult With A Doctor First
When making major changes to your loved one’s daily life, you should consult their doctor. This includes taking healthy steps like exercise. Their doctor can help you choose the right exercise plan for your loved one’s unique situation and needs.
Safe Harbor Healthcare Services does not provide medical, healthcare, or financial advice via articles. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for medical advice.
Safe Harbor Healthcare Services has provided excellent home care on Staten Island since 1967. Our services help older individuals and the disabled live safely and independently; while giving their families the peace of mind they need. For more information contact us or call (718)-979-6900.