Winter can be frustrating for older adults who love to get out and about. Cozy celebrations with friends and family brighten up the holiday season, but the prospect of January and February leaves many of us wishing we could hibernate.
Such is the winter blues, but with a little foresight and creativity, you can beat them! By filling these short, dark days with fun activities, you’ll arrive in March with a spring in your step (pun intended). Here are five ways to stay active this winter:
If your home is equipped with a treadmill or elliptical, burning calories on a rainy day is a cinch. Not everyone has their own gym, however, and exercising alone may leave you feeling isolated and bored. One of the best workout tips for cold weather is to take your warm-weather fitness routines inside. If your favorite activity is walking with friends in the park, reconvene these excursions in a local mall. Pick a time before the crowds arrive (usually early morning) and reward yourself with a latte when you’ve completed your laps.
There’s truth to the old saying that there’s no bad weather, only bad clothes. Crisp, sunny days are wonderful opportunities for venturing out, but you need to make sure you’re properly prepared. Wear several light layers rather than one heavy one, so you can peel off some clothes as your body heats up. As in summer, apply sunscreen on bright days and carry plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Swimming is the perfect winter activity for older adults. It offers a full-body workout at your own pace, and the water’s natural buoyancy reduces the risk of sprains and strains.
Pools aren’t just for swimming. If you don’t want to do laps, join a water aerobics or an aqua yoga class. Some gyms and fitness centers are more accommodating to seniors than others, so ask for recommendations from friends before signing up.
Healthy eating in winter can be a struggle long after the turkey and pumpkin pie leftovers have vanished. Heavy, calorific treats can bring comfort on chilly days but can leave you lethargic afterwards — the last thing you need when you’re trying to stay active.
Try incorporating some light, summery meals into your winter menu by shopping for out-of-season imported fruit and vegetables or seasonal produce from Florida and California. When you do need something hearty, try wild mushrooms instead of beef in a stroganoff, or roast seasoned cauliflower florets until they’re golden brown.
You need to stay mentally as well as physically sharp in winter, which can be easier said than done when one gray day follows another. Shake up your routine by joining a new book club, inviting friends around for board game evenings or treating your grandkids to homemade cookies and hot chocolate. Most importantly, think about all the wonderful things you will do when the sap starts to flow and birdsong fills your yard once more. If winter comes, can spring be far behind?
Residents at The Village at Providence Point (planned for opening in 2024) can look forward to exciting activities all year round, rain or shine. Stay tuned for the latest events here.