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Tips for Staying Active When it is Cold Outside

Regular exercise is vital for heart and bone health and overall well-being. However, nearly 90% of people aged 65 and older do not get enough exercise. It’s recommended that seniors engage in 30 minutes of exercise most days, ideally every day. Cold weather can make staying active even more challenging. At Home Care Assistance, our Care Professionals are skilled at helping seniors maintain their exercise routines, even in winter. Here’s how you and your loved ones can keep moving during the colder months.

Outdoor Exercise Tips for Winter

Exercising outdoors provides fresh air and essential exposure to sunlight for vitamin D. If you plan to exercise outside during winter, here are some tips to minimize the effects of the cold:

  • Dress in Layers: Wearing layers helps you stay warm without overheating. Maintaining a comfortable body temperature can prevent injuries that occur when you’re too cold or too hot.
  • Keep Extremities Warm: Focus on keeping your hands, feet, and head warm. This will help maintain your overall warmth during exercise. Appropriate footwear is also crucial.
  • Warm Up Properly: In cold weather, it’s even more important to warm up before exercising. Start with lower intensity and gradually increase to your usual level.
  • Choose a Warmer Time of Day: Instead of exercising early in the morning, consider waiting until early afternoon when it’s warmer.
  • Schedule Your Exercise: Treat your exercise time like an appointment. This makes it harder to skip.
  • Get Warm and Dry Post-Exercise: If you get cold or wet, shower and change into dry clothes as soon as you get home.
  • Consider Indoor Options When Necessary: If the weather is too severe, swap your outdoor exercise for an indoor alternative.

Indoor Exercise Options

Exercising indoors can be a great way to stay active when the weather is not conducive to outdoor activities. Here are some options:

  • Take an Exercise Class: Local gyms often offer classes designed for older adults. Community hubs may also have free or reduced-cost exercise classes.
  • Walk in Indoor Spaces: Malls are excellent places to walk in a warm, controlled environment. You can even meet a friend for company and a coffee break.
  • Use Indoor Exercise Equipment: An indoor bike or treadmill allows you to exercise in a controlled environment. Start with short sessions and gradually increase your workout duration and intensity.
  • Follow Online Classes or Exercise Videos: There are many online resources available for various types of exercise, including paid subscriptions and free options for workouts like dance, yoga, and more.

Importance of Regular Exercise

Exercise is crucial for maintaining physical and mental health. During winter, adjusting your routine to accommodate the colder conditions is important. Choose activities you enjoy and that match your fitness level and physical capabilities. Regular exercise is key to staying healthy and active.

If you receive home care and find it challenging to exercise, talk to your Care Professional for support. The assistance of a home care agency like Home Care Assistance can greatly enhance your quality of life while allowing you to live independently. For more information, contact your local Home Care Assistance today.

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