4 Ways Seniors Can Stay Active This WinterBrandermill Woods independent living angle

4 Ways Seniors Can Stay Active This Winter

Monday, February 26, 2024

The colder winter months can leave everyone seeking a seat by the fireplace or a fuzzy blanket to curl up under. And often one of the first things people lose focus and motivation around is their physical activity. After all, it's much more tempting to stay inside with a cup of hot tea and cookies and watch reruns of your favorite shows. But your health should be a priority year-round, including in the winter. This is especially true for seniors, as staying fit plays a significant role in an older person's physical, mental, and overall health. If you're in Independent Living and finding yourself moving around less, keep reading for four tips that will help you get back into an active routine. 

Benefits of Staying Active in Our Golden Years

While one of the best perks of retirement is the freedom and flexibility gained in how you spend your time, it's important to remember that there are real benefits to carving out time for exercise as an older adult. Here are some of the "rewards" you can expect for prioritizing your physical health.

  • Improved immune system: Regular exercise has been shown to improve a person's immune system. People often see decreased immunity as they age, so exercise can be a great way to combat this natural decline.
  • Prevent diseases: Physical activity can be an excellent tool for disease management, reducing the risk of obesity, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers.
  • Dementia: Studies show that regular exercise can help reduce the risk of dementia by 28%. 
  • Improved sleep: Many seniors struggle with getting quality sleep every night. Daily exercise can reduce insomnia and sleeping problems. 
  • Social opportunity: Having social interactions is crucial for a person's mental health and happiness. Signing up for physical activity classes can be a great opportunity to socialize and even meet new friends. 
  • Improved mental health: Exercising releases endorphins and leaves you feeling great. Seniors who work out regularly can benefit from reduced stress and anxiety, clearer thinking, and improved mood. 
  • Fewer falls: Seniors are at a higher risk of having a fall. And when these falls happen, they can take much longer to heal, compromising your independence. Seniors who embrace regular physical activity may see an improvement in their coordination and balance, which can reduce the risk of falls and the severity of injuries (if a fall does happen). 

4 Ways Seniors Can Get Moving in the Winter

So, how can seniors stay active this winter? Here are four practical and fun ways to add movement into your daily routine.

1. Group Exercise Classes

Group exercise classes are the clear winner when it comes to taking up a winter workout activity. First, there’s the social aspect. You get to meet new people, make friends, and develop a connection while you get your fitness in.

Secondly, there’s the motivational and accountability piece. When you feel lazy in the winter, knowing that you’ve signed up for a class and people rely on you to show up is quite motivating. 

And thirdly, classes offer variety! Typically, exercise classes switch up their routine every class, so you’re never stuck doing the same thing over and over. You can add even more variety into your exercise routine by signing up for several different types of classes — dance, water aerobics, tennis — why not try them all?

2.  Swimming

Swimming is an excellent physical activity for seniors because it's easy on the joints. Additionally, swimming can help develop and strengthen your core muscles, which are essential for balancing and protecting oneself against falls. 

If joining a group exercise class feels overwhelming and intimidating, swimming can be a great activity to pick up instead. It's an independent workout, so you can go as fast (or as slow) as you'd like! 

Taking up swimming as a hobby is easy if you're at Brandermill Woods. Our facility has an indoor therapeutic swimming pool, so you can take warm, rejuvenating laps all winter long. 

3. Social Clubs and Events

Initially, participating in social clubs and events may not sound physically challenging, but it certainly can be! Remember that even walking counts as physical activity. Depending on the social club or event, you might find yourself physically exhausted (in a good way!) after you attend a gathering. 

Brandermill Woods offers its residents plenty of opportunities to engage within the community and each other. Independent Living residents can look forward to a social calendar released every month. In the winter, the social calendar is filled with physically active opportunities like chair yoga, Wii bowling, and social trivia. Attending these events can be a great way to meet your social and physical needs for the day. 

4. Arts and Crafts

Like social events, arts and crafts may not sound like a workout. But something like painting or knitting can actually take a lot of arm strength. Once again, Brandermill Woods comes through with a packed arts and crafts schedule every month for its residents. Sign up for woodcarvers, yarn arts, or pottery for an opportunity to get active while inspiring your creative side. 

Stay Active at Brandermill Woods

The importance of getting regular physical activity for seniors cannot be stressed enough. Once you adopt a routine of frequent movement, you'll notice that you're stronger, happier, and healthier. But all of this is easier said than done. It can be challenging to motivate yourself to work out in the winter months. Inspire yourself by creating a schedule full of activities you enjoy and look forward to. 

The residents at Brandermill Woods get to stay active year-round with our social calendar and amenities. Getting your workouts in has never been easier; everything is planned for you and accessible on-site. 

If you're ready to explore Independent Living, consider Brandermill Woods for your new home. All it takes is an on-site tour to see the magic of our community. Contact us today at (804) 744-1173 to schedule a tour.