Got the winter blues? For many seniors, the cold months can seem to stretch out forever, and activities that keep you out and about when it’s warmer go on hiatus – there’s no yoga in the park or hiking the nature trails near your home.
Social interaction suffers as well as physical activity, but there are still things you can do to get out of the house, stay active, and get the social interaction you need.
- Water Aerobics Classes. The low-impact workout of water aerobics is ideal for older joints, since it relieves pressure and allows you to exercise your body with the help of water resistance instead of sheer gravity. Look for an indoor aquatics center, hotel or spa with a heated pool that offers classes for seniors.
- Mall Walking Book Club. Exercise your body and your mind by meeting up weekly at a local mall to make a few circuits before settling down to discuss books over a frozen yogurt in the food court. This is a terrific way to combine exercise for your body and brain and let you get the social time you deserve.
- Dance Lessons. Have a spouse or trusted friend who would like to learn a new skill? Look into ballroom or country dance lessons offered at a senior center or community hall. Prefer flying solo? You can look into ballet or line dancing if you want to be able to concentrate just on your own two feet and not a partner’s.
- Cooking Classes. Learning how to create amazing meals in a new and exciting realm of cuisine can be amazing. Many cooking schools offer classes designed for seniors, with lower tables so peeling, chopping and slicing can be done from a seated position. For those seeking a mild upper body workout, consider Italian with pizza and pasta making on the curriculum and roll, stretch, and pound away.
- Form a Bowling League. Bowling (and other, similar team activities) can foster a healthy, mild sense of competitiveness, and make long evenings a fun event instead of a night of solitude. Everyone can play at their own level and concentrate on beating their own score.
These activities can help you stay active and engaged all winter long and help beat that cabin fever that sets in near the close of a long cold season. By the time spring rolls around you’ll be rejuvenated and ready to jump back into your outdoor activities. As always, check with your doctor before taking on a new exercise regimen. Dr. Strasburger can help you protect your joints and stay healthy.