franciscan ministries logo

How to Safely Stay Active & Promote Healthy Aging During the Winter

December 1, 2022

Blog image

Maintaining a balanced diet and getting plenty of exercise are the two main aspects of overall wellness and healthy aging. While both are important, physical activity is what ultimately keeps you moving and helps your muscles and bones stay strong and flexible.

When the weather is warm and the sun is out, it is easy to find new and exciting ways to stay active. However, during the colder winter months, staying motivated and maintaining a regular fitness routine can become more challenging.

With senior living communities in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, Franciscan Ministries understands the challenges the winter season presents when finding safe ways to stay active. To help you maintain your active lifestyle throughout the year, we are sharing a few ways to safely stay active during the winter.

Find Indoor Walking Paths

If walking is a part of your regular fitness regime, consider finding a place to walk indoors until the weather gets warmer. The winter can cause hazardous conditions such as snow, ice and freezing temperatures. Finding an indoor spot to keep up your routine will allow you to stay physically active when the winter weather prevents you from getting outside.

One good indoor walking spot could be a treadmill or walking around your local shopping mall. In addition, many local high schools and colleges open their indoor track to the public during specific times (when sports teams are not using them).

Even though it may seem like a simple activity, walking is a low-intensity exercise that is easy on your joints and provides many health benefits, including improved heart health and stronger bones and muscles. Furthermore, walking regularly can improve your sleeping habits, boost your mood and can even strengthen your immune system.

Practice Yoga or Tai Chi

Yoga and Tai Chi are both great options when it comes to staying active and promoting healthy aging. Both can be adjusted to as high or low intensity as you need depending on your level of ability and provide numerous mental and physical health benefits. Some of these include:

  • Improved balance and stability
  • Increased flexibility and joint health
  • Reduced feelings of stress and anxiety
  • Encouraged mindfulness
  • Improved immune health

The best part is these types of exercise can be done just about anywhere! All you need is enough space to move around safely and freely. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced yogi, there are practicing options for you. Find a class or look up videos online that align with your skill level and start practicing right from the comfort of your home.

Perform At-Home Exercises

You do not need a gym, fitness center or access to the great outdoors to exercise. Instead, you can do many exercises within the comfort of your home. In fact, using your own body weight can be just as effective and even easier on your joints than using additional weights and equipment.

Some examples include:

  • Wall push-ups
  • Chair exercises
  • Stretching
  • Triceps extension
  • Standing marches
  • Seated rotation

Our senior living communities in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio focus on resident wellness and provide programs, amenities and classes that encourage active living and physical wellness every day. Don’t let the winter months slow you down!

Staying active, no matter the time of year, is all about finding an activity and exercise routine that works for you. The most important thing is keeping your body moving, so participating in something fun and engaging will help you stick with it.

It is also important to note that exercise does not have to be high intensity in order for you to reap the health benefits. However, you should talk to your doctor before making any changes to your fitness routine. They know your health history well and will be able to advise you on which types of exercises would be the most beneficial for your health.

We invite you to visit our website and find a Franciscan Ministries community near you to learn more about our services, wellness programs and life enrichment.