Couple in winter clothing.

5 Ways to Stay Active in Winter

by Shirley Brown, Healthy Living Coach

Couple in winter clothing.Participate in activities that you enjoy. Get excited about this new year, 2016. Begin with a healthy active plan. Always discuss planned changes with your medical doctor before beginning any changes to your physical activities. The temperatures may be too cold, the roads and streets to slippery, however, there are plenty of fun indoor and outdoor winter activities for you to enjoy; here is a short list to get you started:

  1. Indoor Activity – Mall walking, water aerobics, swimming, dancing, yoga or DVD exercises, treadmill, walk up & down stairs, ride stationary bike, use exercise balls/bands, or other equipment;
  2. Outdoor Activity – Sledding, skiing, ice skating, walking self/dog;
  3. Indoor Games – Video games such as Wii, computer or fitness cartridges, card games (war, solitary), checkers, chess, trivia games, jigsaw puzzles, and bingo;
  4. Visit Senior Centers – Offer indoor fairs, special activities, or just a place to visit with other senior friends, volunteer at libraries, shelters, food banks, YMCA/YWCA, fitness clubs, church groups, etc.;
  5. Entertainment – Concerts, plays, eating out, museums, bowling, arts & crafts, and party/special event planning;

Each new year brings opportunities for renewed energy and focus on improving your health. During this time make positive changes in how you are to implement a plan for good health and safety challenges. Engaging the body in physical activity is a great way to ward off winter depression and being around others helps to eliminate loneliness and anxiety.

The most important tip to keep in mind during the colder months is to ask for help. If you need to clear your property of snow and ice, don’t hesitate to ask a family member or neighbor, or hire a professional. Arrange rides to the grocery store and doctor’s appointments. Many communities have shuttle services specifically for seniors. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help.

Wintertime certainly poses challenges for seniors, but with a bit of planning and awareness, you will stay healthy and experience the joys of springtime soon enough.

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