The cold, crisp air of winter calls for late mornings wrapped up in a cozy blanket or an afternoon by the fire while drinking hot cocoa.
With the “bed weather” season, you can give in and get coaxed back into bed or start the holiday right by maintaining your healthy regimen of daily exercises.
Seniors usually have a hard time sticking to their workout routines, especially during the cold winter season. Heck, even a middle-aged exercise enthusiast can sometimes find it difficult to wake up early in the morning and get moving.
However, older adults need to stay active to avoid falling prey to the consequences of prolonged inactivity, like:
- Reduced muscle mass and bone density
- Increased risk of falling accidents
- Developing cardiovascular diseases
- Depression, anxiety, and feelings of isolation
If you find it challenging to get up and moving lately, then here are some tips to help you stay active this winter.
1. Engage in Fun Activities
Anyone will skip their morning exercise if they don’t enjoy their workout routines. Make exercise fun by finding new activities that you actually enjoy doing, which is also appropriate for your age and fitness level.
If you love going out with your dog, you can make your morning walks part of your exercise routine. You can also participate in Zumba sessions if you have a penchant for dancing or try hiking to satisfy your adventurous heart.
2. Get an Exercise Partner
Sweating it out and feeling your muscles ache (in a good way!) becomes more bearable when you have someone to share it with!
Exercising with friends or a loved one motivates you to get up in the morning, show up, and stick to your workout plan. It also increases your chances of achieving your goal, whether it is to lose weight or strengthen your muscles.
Also, isn’t it more fun to spend these precious moments with your loved one? After your 15-minute morning jog, you can hang out at the nearest cafe and end your bonding with a nutritious meal.
3. Schedule Your Workouts
Waking up at 5 or 6 in the morning with the sky still dark, and the temperature cold can demotivate some seniors to push through with their exercise routine.
Instead of exercising in the wee hours of the morning, try to schedule your workout later in the day–late afternoon or before lunch.
Seeing the bright sun and the bustling street outside will encourage your body to push through with your planned physical activity. You can exercise any time of the day except during the night before your bedtime.
4. Start Your Day Right
Help your future self stay active despite the cold weather by preparing everything you need the night before your scheduled exercise.
You should also practice putting yourself in the right vibe every morning to have the energy to push through with your exercise. Some of the things you can do include:
- Preparing your clothes, gym bag, and snacks.
- Catch up on the latest weather news for tomorrow, so you know whether to put in an extra layer of clothing or not.
- Set your alarm clock in one of your favorite bop songs that usually get you groovin’.
- Eat a simple yet nutritious breakfast to fuel you up.
Believe it or not, having a positive mindset and reinforcing it with a positive environment can help you succeed in staying active despite the winter season’s strong urge to procrastinate.
5. Stay Safe and Warm
It is essential to stay active, but safety should always take precedence, especially if you are already in your 60’s.
Unlike the dry season, cold weather comes with more hazards like hypothermia, frostbite, and fall accidents. So, it is essential to come prepared to avoid these unwanted situations.
Some of the most notable things to do to stay safe during your cold-weather exercise include:
- Properly layering up. Don’t just add clothes on top of another to keep yourself warm while exercising. The first layer should be your sportswear (clothing that would pull moisture away from your body), add a fleece jacket, then top it off with a waterproof layer of clothing.
- Check weather conditions. Know what you are up against by watching the weather forecast before going out.
- Know the signs of hypothermia. Hypothermia happens when the temperature outside is too low, causing yours to drop below 95F.
- Wear the proper gear. Protect yourself by wearing the right clothes, shoes, and protective gear for your hands, head, and ears.
- Bring a bottle of water. Hydrate yourself before and after working out, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Sweating in the middle of a cold temperature makes your body consume water faster without you noticing.
6. Exercise at Home
There are many ways to stay active besides going to the gym or jogging around your neighborhood. You can actually maintain your exercise regimen while being cooped up in the comforts of your home!
If you don’t want to risk it in the cold weather, then you can opt to keep your body in shape by doing indoor workout routines like:
- Indoor walks
- Stair climbing workouts
- Signing up for online Zumba or fitness classes
- Watching and following routines of senior exercises on Youtube.
- Stretching and yoga
Spending 150 minutes per week doing simple aerobic activities can already do the trick. If you are having trouble committing to an outdoor workout, then at-home exercises are the right fit for you.
Seniors with underlying medical conditions or mobility problems can also participate in home exercises suitable for their fitness level.
7. Focus on the Benefits and Outcome
Regular physical activity can become hard to keep up, especially during the cold holidays, where all you want to do is eat and cozy up on the couch near the fireplace.
But don’t waver! Exercise is one of the rare activities that can positively impact your overall well-being–physically, mentally, and emotionally. So keep up this healthy regimen to eventually reap its lifelong benefits. Stay active to have a long, happy, and satisfying life!