Winter can be a challenging time for seniors who want to stay active.
Weather and road conditions can prevent seniors from getting outside and staying active. However, winter doesn’t have to keep seniors housebound, because staying active is important for the body and mind. Here are some top activities for seniors to enjoy during the winter months.
Online fitness classes
It is important to stay active in order to improve heart health, reduce the risk of osteoporosis, increase flexibility and improve muscle tone. There are online fitness classes that are created especially for seniors with a focus on maintaining physical and mental health. Choose fitness videos that will be a light challenge but not too strenuous. Visit The National Institute for Aging's senior fitness channel here.
The gentle breathing and soothing poses of yoga are great for seniors. Yoga can help stretch and strengthen muscles while also improving posture. It has been shown to alleviate stress and improve a sense of well-being.
If going to a yoga studio or gym is not convenient, try these 5 beginner yoga poses for seniors at home.
Going to the movies is a nice excuse to leave the house. Movies have also been shown to be therapeutic as it provokes emotions of happiness, sadness, laughter, grief and relief. Movies are also a good way to bond over a shared experience. There are certain cinemas that play retro movies from different time periods.
Click here for a list of cinemas that play classic movies in Toronto. If you are looking for a cinema outside of Toronto, simply search online by typing in "classic movies cinema" in your keyword search.
If you are in an area where quarantine is still in effect, watch a movie in the comforts of your own home via a streaming app.
Puzzles and games
Puzzles and board games are not only a great way to spend time together, they will also help with senior brain function. Playing board games or putting together a puzzle can improve memory, hand-eye coordination and spatial arrangements.
There are puzzles that are carefully chosen to help seniors living with dementia. These puzzles can be wiped clean, have larger pieces that can easily interlock and are easy on the eyes. Puzzles can be therapeutic as they provide a sense of achievement and control.
Getting out or staying active can be difficult for a senior living alone. Driving to community centres and going for winter walks alone can be a challenge for seniors. Fortunately there are services available that specialize in senior companion care and errand assistance. Seniors for Seniors can send a drop-in companion to do activities with seniors such as playing cards, reading a book, watching a movie, talking and taking walks during the warmer months.
Physical activity tips for seniors
Read the Government of Canada’s physical activity tips for older adults (65 years and older) here.
Always consult with a health care professional before starting a new physical activity.