Here at Patriots Landing, much like the rest of our Careage family of communities, the holiday season seems like a fond memory. Yet, many of us are still carrying around an extra pound (or two) from all we enjoyed at our celebrations and gatherings. This makes exercise a timely topic at the New Year.
Whether you live in the Puget Sound or what’s typically a sunny climate, this also just happens to be the time of year when bad weather and shorter days often makes it a challenge to get a good workout. Even at The Lakes at Banning, California, there are wet and dreary days that keep even our most active residents from venturing outside for too long.
Especially for older adults, exercise is a vital part of your overall good health. A sedentary lifestyle leads to unhealthy weight gain, depression, sleep problems, and a host of other health issues. Let’s face it, if we slack off during the winter, we’re at higher risk of injury when we start exercising again in the spring.
So how can you keep fit in the winter, while also staying warm, safe, and dry?
Take It Inside
1. Step out: Have you joined a mall-walking group? It’s an excellent way to get some good walking exercise while chatting with friends and perusing the shops. The flat, clean surfaces make it ideal for walking, and many malls open early to allow for mall-walking, so you don’t have to worry about big crowds.
2. Get wet: At Patriot’s Landing, we offer water aerobics, another great indoor activity that allows you to exercise without fear of falling or stress on your joints. Lots of places like community pools, also offer these classes, and it is wonderful for those with knee or hip issues. Water aerobics classes help you do strength and balance exercises, along with some light cardio.
3. Stretch: Yoga is a way to stretch and stay limber. We offer chair yoga classes; the poses are done while you’re seated. It’s ideal for anyone with limited mobility or balance issues. Along with participating in classes like ours, you can also find several online guided videos on chair yoga.
Venture Outdoors, Safely
If things like a daily walk or bike ride are part of your regular routine, you don’t necessarily have to take a break during the winter. With a couple of things in mind, you can safely continue your outdoor regimen for winter.
1. Dress for the weather: Layer up against colder temperatures, rain, and wind. Water- and wind-resistant gear is the best way to hold in body heat, and you can shed or add layers as you warm up and cool down. Don’t forget a hat or hood, gloves, and scarf. Keeping your head, neck, and hands warm and dry is a huge help.
2. It’s all about traction: Not only should your shoes be waterproof or water resistant, it’s essential that they fit you well, offer a good grip with the ground and also proper ankle support.
3. Remember your warm-up: A longer stretching phase and slower movements at the beginning of your workout help reduce the risk of muscle or tendon injury.
4. Be smart: The sun comes up later and it’s often rainy or windy this time of year. So, use extra caution and good sense to avoid any situation that could trip you up, such as walking over ice, where there are slippery, wet leaves, and also poorly lit walkways.
It’s tempting to cozy up in bed or on the couch during the colder months but staying active is important! Aim for about 30 minutes or more of physical exercise most days of the week. You can keep active and engage with your neighbors this winter. And we can help.
We encourage you to learn more about how affordable daily fitness, comfort, and exceptional surroundings can be. At Patriots Landing or any number of our Careage family of care, like The Lakes at Banning, Mission Healthcare at Renton, Mission Healthcare at Bellevue, Patriots Glen, or Careage Home Health, we are here to support you as you keep your fitness promises this season.