Exercise is important for all ages but especially for older adults. A decrease in muscle mass as we age makes completing daily tasks more difficult. Exercising improves digestive and immune functions, preventing diseases such as diabetes, lower blood pressure, obesity, osteoporosis, and heart disease. It also can help decrease the likelihood of getting Alzheimer’s disease and other types of cancer. However, during the winter months, it can be hard to be consistent with your regular exercise habits. Below is information about some winter exercises you can partake in retirement communities.
How is Exercising Beneficial for Seniors
- It strengthens your heart. Each time you exercise, it improves your cardiovascular endurance. A consistent exercise schedule can make your heart muscle strong. In addition, exercising in cold weather can make the heart work harder distributing additional blood flow all around the body.
- Exercising helps us in staying hydrated. Generally, older adults are more exposed to the risk of dehydration, but the risk can especially increase during the winter months. Exercise causes us to sweat and will act as a reminder to drink water and consume hydrating foods.
- Research has also proven that people who engage in at least 30 minutes of exercise a day experience an improved quality of sleep at night. It is suggested that you choose an exercise such as walking or yoga that can elevate your heart rate.
- Exercising is also an immune booster. Our immune systems fight off illnesses like the common flu or cold. A consistent exercise routine can help strengthen our immune system. It can also ward off other illnesses keeping us healthy all winter long.
- Being confined to your home during the winter months can make us feel restless, anxious, and disconnected from others. Thus, going out for a walk during the winter can reduce the effects of cabin fever.
- Winter weather is also notorious for making you feel lethargic and lack energy. Moving the body is an awesome way to revive you which makes you feel more alert.
Indoor Exercises to do for Seniors
- Before any exercise, it is important to do some stretching, but it is also beneficial by itself. Stretching can help increase flexibility and strength while decreasing the risk of injury.
- This low-impact activity is beneficial for those with osteoporosis or joint pain. It is proven by researchers that swimming reduces stress and improves muscle and heart strength
- Indoor walking. Walking outdoors during the harsh winter months can be dangerous. Instead, try walking indoors like a shopping mall or museum.
- Strength exercises. Strength training is an option for those who want to exercise and strengthen their muscles. These exercises use your body weight to improve mobility and strength.
Maintaining good health is one of the top priorities of most older adults. As temperatures drop during the winter months, it can be tempting to abandon your regular exercise regime. It is shown that even 30 minutes of exercise each day can fend off health risks and immensely improve your immune system. Thus, it is a good idea to start a simple exercise routine or even enroll in a fitness program that complements your independent living in a retirement community.