Exercise is important for senior health, but the winter can make getting outdoors a challenge. While ice and snow may make outdoor exercise too risky, with a little creativity, your senior loved one can exercise indoors, instead.
5 Indoor Exercises to Try This Winter
These five indoor exercises can help a senior to stay active when the winter weather is too bad to go outdoors. Before you suggest these exercises, though, it’s a good idea to bring them to your loved one’s doctor to make sure that they’re appropriate for your loved one’s fitness level.
Stretching is important before any form of exercise, but it’s also particularly valuable for seniors as an exercise, itself. Stretching can help to improve flexibility, and this increased flexibility can offset some of the typical decline that seniors often see in their joint function. Stretching also helps to prevent injuries, and can be useful in relieving pain or cramped muscles.
Even if your loved one can’t incorporate a full workout in their home, making an effort to do some basic stretches on a daily basis can still promote a bit of movement and relieve stiffness.
Walking is a valuable exercise, since it incorporates cardiac activity yet is a relatively low-impact exercise. During the winter, taking a trip to a mall or shopping center can give you and your loved one a safe place to do some walking. Depending on the layout of your loved one’s house, it may be possible for them to do walking laps through the house occasionally.
When getting ready for a walk, be sure that your loved one wears safe, comfortable shoes that offer them the support that they need. Your loved one may enjoy wearing a pedometer or fitness tracker to track just how far they’ve walked in a day, a week, or a month.
Your loved one can improve their balance with the use of some specialized exercises.
Have your loved one stand on one foot for as long as possible, then change to the other foot and repeat the exercise. Have a chair, railing, or other support nearby during this exercise.
You can also encourage your loved one to walk in a straight line, placing one foot directly in front of the other, for about 20 steps.
Your loved one can improve their strength with the use of resistance training. There are countless resistance training exercises, from lifting a leg while wearing an ankle weight, to using resistance bands. Resistance training can help to strengthen muscles and prevent muscle loss, potentially reducing the chance of falls and injury, in turn.
Yoga is another great indoor exercise option. It’s affordable, since you need minimal equipment, and it’s versatile enough that just about any senior can incorporate some yoga exercises into their day. To change things up, consider renting an instruction video or finding some guided yoga sessions online.
Exercise is often beneficial for seniors, but it’s also important to gradually incorporate exercise into a routine. Doing too much too soon can result in pain, increase your loved one’s chance at falling, or have adverse health effects. If you have questions about designing a wintertime exercise plan for your loved one, please consult with their doctor.
Are you worried about your loved one’s safety when you’re not able to be with them? Would you feel better knowing a caregiver was home with them when they do exercise in the winter? Please contact us today. We would be happy to learn about your loved one, their care needs, and how we can help.