Exercise and Seniors: Benefits of Exercising Over Winter
Exercise has numerous health benefits – both physical and emotional – and can even help you live longer. Because of this, it should be part of your regular routine regardless of what the calendar says.
Winter means spending more time indoors and less time walking or biking, but don’t let the cold weather put a damper on your fitness. Instead, find activities that are perfect for seniors during winter months.
Benefits of Exercise
Anyone, at any age, can benefit from an active lifestyle that makes your muscles work and your body burn calories. Exercise can help everyone feel happier, lose weight, increase energy levels, reduce chronic diseases, and improve sleep.
For seniors, these benefits of exercise can be even more pronounced:
- Live longer – Leading a sedentary lifestyle is one of the top 10 reasons for death or disability.
- Prevent falls – Exercise gives you better muscle strength. Your bone density will also improve balance and reduce falls.
- Reduced risk of stroke or heart attack – Regular cardiovascular exercise increases blood flow to the heart and boosts your overall health.
- Better bone density – Jogging or walking can reduce the risk of osteoporosis and potential fractures.
- Reduced risk of dementia – Being sedentary later in life increases the risk of dementia.
- Prevent or delay diseases – Exercise is a remedy for many chronic conditions such as arthritis, heart disease and diabetes.1
- Confidence and independence – Exercise can boost your confidence, while your increased strength can reduce any fears of falling or possible injuries.
- Social interaction – Physical activities can be a fun, social event and helps you avoid depression and loneliness.
Being Active in Winter
Some may think you should take it easy as you get older, but activity is important when you age. Seniors should be active all year round and these exercises can help that happen. Check out your local fitness or wellness center to find out what classes and options are available.
- Swimming: Being in the pool to swim laps or take a water aerobics class not only helps you stay fit, but also relieves joint pain and soothes anxiety.
- Tai Chi: A tai chi class can build strength and stamina. It is even good for those with mobility issues. Plus the breathing techniques help reduce stress.
- Stationary bike: If you like biking in the summer, consider trying a stationary bike at a fitness center. You can even listen to music or watch TV as you bike.
- Yoga and Pilates: This builds core strength and improves overall fitness. It can be done in classes or even at home.
- Walking: Walk along an indoor track at a fitness center or the halls of your apartment building. For an added bonus of social fun, find a mall-walking group to enjoy exercise with others.
- Dance classes: These classes are not only fun, but can also offer great exercise.
Staying Active at Peabody
Winter doesn’t have to be a time to hibernate. Stay active for a fun and enjoyable few months. At Peabody, wellness is a big part of life. The senior wellness center here gives you many options to stay active all year long. For more information on how Peabody helps keep you active, contact us today.
1. Benefits of Exercise for the Elderly. www.home.bt.com. (Accessed Dec 2 2018).