As the days get shorter and the weather gets colder, it can be challenging for seniors to keep moving. However, the importance of doing so cannot be overstated, as many benefits come with maintaining an active lifestyle.
For one thing, staying active helps seniors maintain and build muscle strength, improving their balance and reducing the risk of falls. It also boosts cardiovascular health, improves mood and cognition, and enhances sleep quality.
So how can you help your senior stay active in the winter? Here are a few tips:
Exercise at Home
First and foremost, encourage your senior to exercise at home. It doesn’t alway sound ideal to get outdoors on icy days in the depths of winter, so in-home senior care is a great alternative. Investing in equipment like a treadmill or elliptical machine can help your senior get moving without leaving the house.
There are also plenty of exercise videos on Youtube targeting seniors, with many popular workout regimens adapted to accommodate limited mobility. If your senior has access to a computer and the internet, it is easy for them to stay active without even leaving the house!
Note that stretching is also an adequate exercise and can be done either in bed or while standing with assistance.
Engage in Low-Impact Exercises
Low-impact exercises encapsulate various activities, from yoga and tai chi to dancing. These types of exercises have the benefit of being gentle on the joints and muscles while still providing a good workout.
Perhaps the most popular low-impact exercise is walking. If your senior can only walk to the mailbox or around the block, this is still a great start. You could even take a short stroll together if they are up for it.
Alternatively, senior workout classes at local gyms and community centers are also a great way to stay active. Many of these classes even cater specifically to seniors, so your loved one is sure to find something that suits their needs. They might even make a friend or two!
Take Advantage of Winter Activities
As you probably know, winter offers no shortage of fun activities. And while snowboarding and skiing might be out of the question as we age, a bit of creativity can go a long way. For starters, you could consider traditional elderly home care activities. It might be tempting to stay cozy on the couch, but you might also try joining in on puzzle games like jigsaw puzzles and Sudoku.
Card and board games are another great way to stay active. Not only do they keep your senior sharp, but they can also be a lot of fun! Exercising the mind is just as important as exercising the body, so don’t underestimate the power of brain games.
Finally, you could find an indoor pool in your area and take advantage of their adult swim times. Swimming is a fantastic exercise for seniors, as it uses all the major muscle groups to keep the body toned and strong.
Learn a New Skill
Last but not least, you could consider teaching your senior a new skill. Perhaps they always wanted to learn how to knit or paint but never had the time. Winter is an excellent opportunity for them to pick up a new hobby and learn something new! However, remember that the activity needs to be safe and enjoyable for your senior.
For example, picking up a guitar might be too much of a strain for people with arthritis. On the other hand, crafting a beautiful pottery piece could be just the thing they need to stay active and engaged. Generally speaking, try to get your senior outside of their comfort zone and challenge them in a new way.
The Importance of Staying Active for Seniors
In closing, it is important to remember that staying active is essential for seniors. It keeps their body healthy and strong and helps them maintain a positive outlook and stay mentally sharp in the process. So whatever activities you choose to pursue with your loved one this winter, do so with enthusiasm and make sure they are having fun as well!
If you need help caring for your loved one this winter, don’t hesitate to contact the caring and experienced team at Bluebird Homecare. We understand that senior care is a personal and sensitive matter, and we are committed to providing high-quality services. Whether you need help with daily tasks or full-time home care, our skilled caregivers can make a real difference in your loved one’s life.