In winter, the weather outside may be frightful, but that doesn’t mean the indoors has to match. Many seniors begin to feel cooped up during long stretches of cold weather. They are prone to experiencing “cabin fever” and all the feelings that go along with it – lethargy, irritability, and the winter blues. This is why indoor activities for seniors are so important.
Seniors Can Stay Active in Winter
To help older adults feel healthy, energized, and positive during the winter, encourage them to engage in physical activity. While whipping winds and icy roads make it difficult to go outside, there are many ways for seniors to stay active while feeling cozy at home. Here are five indoor activities for seniors that will help them work on their strength, endurance, flexibility, and balance until spring comes around.
Walking is a low-impact and easy way for everyone to stay mobile and active. The health benefits of walking include:
- Improved cardiovascular health.
- Stronger bones, joints, and muscles.
- Maintenance of a robust immune system.
- Better sleep habits.
- Improved mood.
- Greater longevity.
If it’s too cold outside, walking is still one of the best indoor activities for seniors. Encourage your loved one to walk around the house a few times, or transport them to your local mall to enjoy a stroll through the Great Indoors (with shopping benefits!).
2. Doing Household Chores
Taking care of light housework can enormously benefit seniors. Performing routine chores around the house keeps them up and moving while also providing a sense of purpose. The exercise provided by simple housework may also help protect brain health well into a person’s 70s and 80s.
3. Balance Exercises
Falls are a common hazard faced by older adults. Helping your senior loved ones to improve their balance will minimize their risk of injury from a fall. Even on a cold winter’s day, balance can be worked on indoors. Indoor exercises include toe stands, leg raises, and core stretches. Yoga and tai chi also incorporate many movements that improve balance and flexibility.
4. Light Dancing
Many people love dancing. If your senior loved one is up to it, play some music and encourage everyone – including family caregivers and grandkids – to show off their moves. Dancing provides aerobic exercise and activates many different body parts. It allows older adults to elevate their heart rate, stretch their muscles, build strength, and increase flexibility while doing something enjoyable and non-boring.
5. Light Resistance Training
For seniors, strength training is an excellent way to stay active and mobile over time. For a light workout that needs no special equipment, help your older loved one with a “bodyweight” routine, including squats and gentle push-ups. You can also incorporate light hand weights or resistance bands.
Indoor Activities for Seniors: Fitness Videos and Apps
Today, seniors have many options to get guided fitness advice and exercises. For example, the Silver Sneakers program – supported by many Medicare plans – enables older adults to access a video library of classes and workouts from their home computer. There are also many fitness DVD programs designed for older adults and an assortment of fitness apps with settings designed to help seniors monitor their health and work toward their fitness goals.
Need Help to Make the Most of Winter?
If you live in Columbia, SC, and are looking for support in providing indoor activities for your senior loved one during winter’s chill, Caring Healthcare is here for you. We want to help your loved one to stay safe and healthy while remaining active and independent all year long. Please don’t wait; give us a call today.