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Safe Ways For Seniors To Remain Active In Winter

Seniors walking in the mall

Are there safe ways to remain active during the winter?

The answer is yes of course and will explain later how. A lot of people don't look forward to the winter season and for good reason. Not many people enjoy minus 20 degree Celsius. It seems one of the safe ways to get through winters is to simply curl up in your home. Put the heater on max rather than deal with the chilly Ontario winds.

The urge to hibernate during the chilly winters gets stronger as you get older. Most seniors don't just hate the cold, it's the other debilitating feelings that get them. The slowdown of physical activity makes people feeling depressed with no energy.

Exercise and movement are crucial for humans, and more so for seniors. Daily physical activity allows seniors to maintain healthy bones and muscles. This makes it one of the safe ways to effectively avoid any falls and then injuries or broken bones. Daily physical activity can also slow down the chance of heart disease. This is due to reduced blood pressure. Also, since joint pain can increase in winter for many elders, exercise helps reduce the pain by moving the joints. The best part is, you don't only get better physically with regular activity.

It is obvious that exercise can greatly lower any risk of anxiety, fatigue, and depression. Also, a study shows that daily exercise helps avoid cognitive decline. This makes it ideal for elders at risk of Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other brain issues. So, you can see that the benefits of staying active are great for seniors. If you live in Burlington or the surrounding area, you should check Pillars of Wellness. They offer wellness programs throughout the year and can assist you with nutrition, exercise plan and give you lots of good tips on how to remain healthy.

Why winter makes you feel depressed?

Don't worry, you're not the only one going through this. Most seniors have trouble staying active all year round. But the winter season makes this feat even harder. For a lot of people, poor sun exposure causes fatigue, arthritic pain, and depression.

All these, plus the physical barriers of rain and snow, make it difficult to go outside. With less movement, the cycle continues, and you will end up feeling more fatigued. So, it's important for seniors to remain active in winter.

4 safe ways to practice winter activities

We've already discussed all the benefits of exercise and movement for seniors. That said, the winter season tends to make the task difficult, as well as dangerous. You can get hurt from an icy sidewalk or due to continuous rain. That's why you'll want your senior relative or friend to stay active without getting seriously hurt. So, here are four safe ways to practice winter activities.

Go to a gym

Gyms are perfect for getting in the exercise in winter in case it's too cold or wet outside. A lot of gyms provide senior discounts too. These work for memberships, classes, and facilities like pools or aerobics. If you know any good gyms, definitely go for it. If going to the gym is too intimidating, you can opt for community or recreation centers. These centers are more understanding of seniors' issues. Whatever you choose, there are only benefits. Leaving the house, exercising and talking with people can help you feel better.

Stay active at home

For some people, even going to the gym is not an option. Either they're not as comfortable with people, or their pain or conditions won't let them go out. That's why exercising at home can be a great option. Exercises for balance and cardio can easily be done at home without relying on fancy machines or gear. You can even choose to get yourself a pair of lighter free weights. These are great to help you strengthen muscles, then increase the weight slowly. This is perfect when you are sitting idly watching TV or reading a book.

Try walking or running

The cold can be hard for some people since their bodies produce comparatively less heat. This can make it harder to go out for simple walks even if you love them. So, get thermal body-wear, like jackets, coats or warm underwear, to stay warmer. You can also help your body produce more heat by drinking hot tea, coffee or drinks before going out for a run. All you have to do is make sure not to go out when there's too much snow, ice or rainwater.

Try something fun

Having a regular routine can be boring or hard for some people. That's why you can just do normal activities and still stay active. Garden, rearrange the furniture, clean the house or go out for grocery shopping. If being alone is the problem, get some family or friends to go with you for your daily chores. A great way to make sure that you keep active while having fun is including more people. Maybe throw a dance party, play some fun games like pool, charades or anything that involves moving. Make sure not to overdo it, since that can make the muscle and bone pain worse with time.

With these tips, you should be able to find yourself more safe ways to keep active. Just so whatever makes you feel safe, comfortable and healthy. If you need help, you can call your family, friends or some healthcare professionals. Do whatever makes you feel better this winter.

Who can help you with some exercises plans?

Physiotherapist or chiropractors can help you with both treatment and exercise plan. Otherwise, a personal fitness coach. Talk to a health practitioner as they can provide you with valuable information. We have a great team of practitioners from different health professions that can work with you. If you live in Burlington or surrounding area, come and visit us. We will be able to talk to you and help you the best we can!

Lori Desjardine
Lori Desjardine
Occupational Therapist Lori Desjardine is very passionate about her work and takes great pride in helping others regain their independence and improve their quality of life.