Don’t Let Age Or The Weather Freeze Your Activity Levels
Many senior citizens reduce their physical activity levels as they age, thinking they’re too old.
Many people of all ages reduce their physical activity levels as winter nears, thinking it’s too cold.
Guess what? Both groups are wrong! Neither getting older or colder has to limit your physical fitness level – it’s usually just used as an excuse. We get it – sitting in your fleece sweatshirt and “comfy pants” outfit while cuddled up near the fireplace is probably more comfortable than exercising. But it’s nowhere near as beneficial to your body.
Ohioans Home Healthcare reminds you that not only is it possible to maintain winter exercise levels as you age – it’s an important part of maintaining your health throughout the year.
According to the World Health Organization, nearly two million people worldwide die each year due to a sedentary lifestyle. Staying active throughout the year can help minimize health risks such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer, as well as mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.
Here are some ways you can help increase your activity levels, no matter the weather:
- Take breaks to move around: Binging some Netflix during a cold snap? OK, but hit the pause button after each episode to move around a bit. If it’s safe to do so, take a walk around the block. If not, walk in place in your living room or go up the stairs a couple of times to keep the blood flowing and work your muscles. Even doing some quick chores is more active than sitting in your recliner.
- Swimming: Getting in the pool is a great way to get a low-impact workout. Check with your local YMCA or gym to see if they have one. Recruit a friend to go with you to make it more of a social activity.
- Get a fitness tracker: Having a fitness tracker on your wrist can help keep you motivated and let you know if you could use some more movement as the day goes along. Many devices have a reminder that informs you if you’re falling behind schedule.
- Drink plenty of water: Staying properly hydrated – even if you’re not thirsty – will help you feel like moving more and help get the benefits of exercise. Being mindful of your water consumption will help you avoid dehydration, a common risk in older adults with a stunted sense of thirst.
- It’s good for your brain: Exercising your body is good for your brain, too. Although it’s common for older people to have some levels of brain damage, those who are more active tend to experience fewer mobility restrictions, studies cite.
- Join Silver Sneakers: This health and fitness program for seniors is included with many Medicare plans. There are more than 16,000 locations across the country participating in Silver Sneakers, which offers adults 65 and older access to classes, certified instructors and gyms, and community centers.