Beating the Winter Blues: Tips to Keep You Active
Let’s face it: when the cold sets in, it’s easier to think of reasons to rest than staying active with your fitness routine. Truthfully, taking three (or more) months per year off from your health routine can have long-term consequences health. No more excuses! Here are some tips to keep you moving even when it’s cold out.
Invest in Exercise Equipment
Working out at home doesn’t have to be expensive. Investing in used equipment can help you save. Some of these items can be found at thrift stores, online, or at garage sales. Some ca even be made using household items. Choose equipment that you think you would enjoy using, such as:
- Exercise balls
- Jump ropes
Don’t forget the good old fashioned workout DVD. If you don’t want to buy brand new DVDs without first testing the workout, consider online streaming services or your local public library. There are plenty of options to let you explore workouts that will work for you. Many trainers have video workouts specifically tailored to seniors or conditions related to aging, such as arthritis.
Join a Local Health and Fitness Club
If getting up and getting out the house is important to you, join your local fitness club. If you’re a Medicare participant, check to see if your supplement plans include a Silver Sneakers membership. This perk allows you to get a free membership, without having to pay membership or maintenance fees at participating club chains.
Most popular gym franchises accept Silver Sneaker membership while others may offer their own specialty senior programs. If you don’t qualify, check to see if senior discounts are offered to make your membership more affordable. Often cities provide their own public gym at the recreation center; dial 311 for more local information.
Find an indoor pool. Have a swim alone, with a friend, or check out what classes they have to offer. You can use it year round to take advantage of water aerobics for a low impact workout that is good for your joints.
Walk Laps Around the Mall
If you’re used to walking laps around the neighborhood, use the mall as your own personal indoor track. There are plenty of places to sit down when you need to rest plus even surfaces and plenty of witnesses in case of a fall or slip. If you’re vulnerable to shopping sprees, it may be best to leave the debit card at home and bring only enough cash for something to drink when you’re finished with your workout.
Dress Appropriately When Exercising Outside
If you do decide to workout outside, make sure you pay attention to weather conditions and wear the right clothing. Dress in layers and wear non-slip shoes; make sure to cover fingers, nose, and ears. If conditions are slippery, consider exercising indoors for the day because exercise isn’t worth the risk of injury.
Remember, every little bit counts. If you have to shovel your driveway, this counts as activity. You don’t have to plan a workout every day in order to be successful, just make sure you are getting some form of activity every day. Try to remain aware of how many hours are spent sitting and sleeping; sedentary lifestyles tend to lead to other prevalent health problems. Staying active keeps you feeling great, but if you’re sick or injured, listen to your body and allow it to get the rest it needs. Any exercise you do should be cleared with a medical professional before you begin as some specific exercises can antagonize injury or illness.
Remember: remain active daily, rest when injured, stay hydrated, and have fun!
The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material found on this website is intended to promote and encourage consumer understanding and should not be considered alternative or supplementary medical advice. If you have any concerns regarding your health or physical condition, seek the advice of a licensed qualified healthcare provider. Be sure to discuss any changes or concerns with your doctor before beginning a new healthcare regimen, undergoing any procedures, or changing current healthcare plans. Seniors and Health does not claim medical representation and assumes no responsibility in the accuracy of the information available on this website.
About the Author: Victoria K. Stickley is a copywriter, editor, and senior content manager based in the Dallas area. Her graduate education in counseling and research has helped immensely in her writing as well as the care she provides for her grandparents. She currently provides support and resources to senior care websites as she learns and experiences senior care first-hand.