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Tips On How Seniors Can Stay Active During The Winter

Another article in our series on Winter Safety Tips for Older Adults.

It’s not always easy to get motivated to do something. Especially if you live in a cold climate during the winter season.

The cold winter months can be tough on seniors. It’s important to find ways to stay active, even when it’s chilly outside.

So, if you’re a senior, or have an elderly family member, it’s important to find ways to stay active during the winter.

It’s not only good for your muscles and bones, it can also help to boost your immune system, improve your mood and mental well-being.

Not all activities have to be physical. If you have mobility issues, you may be more suited for some sedentary activities.

The one thing that is very important, no matter what activities you choose to do, is to stay safe and be cognizant of your environment and what your body is capable of.

As you get older, your risk of injury increases. But that doesn’t mean you have to stop being active. Just be sure to take precautions to stay safe.

Wear appropriate clothing and footwear for the activity you’re doing, warm up before you start, and cool down when you’re finished. And if you’re ever in pain or feeling fatigued, stop and rest.

Of course, if you participate in outdoor activities during cold weather, some winter safety tips include being cautious of icy sidewalks and preparing for incoming winter weather.

And just so you know, these tips are valuable for people of all ages!

The Benefits Of Staying Active During The Winter As A Senior

As the weather gets colder and the days get shorter, it can be tempting to stay indoors and hibernate until spring.

However, this is not ideal for seniors, who need to stay active to maintain their health and well-being.

There are many benefits to creating an indoor exercise routine during the winter.

Walking around your house, following some exercise videos or online fitness classes can all be a good way to beef up your activity level.

Of course you could also invest in some exercise equipment such as…

  • treadmill (a great way to get your steps in for the day)
  • rowing machine (this is a great exercise for full body workout)
  • stationary bicycle (a great low impact aerobic workout)

Staying active will also help to combat the winter blues, especially if you incorporate it into your daily routine. It’s important to find an activity that you enjoy, so that you stick with it throughout the winter months.

If you’re not sure where to start, there are many online resources and classes available that can help you get started.

Remember that being active is one of the most important things you can do each day to maintain and improve health.

National Institute On Aging

Check out this wonderful article on Mastering the Art of Online Hobbies by Porch.com.

But, before you start any new physical activity, check with your doctor first! You want to do your activities in safe ways so that you can continue doing them.

There’s no need to let the cold weather keep you from living a full and active life – get out there and enjoy yourself this winter!

Does Staying Active Help With Aging?

The simple answer is yes!

Staying active helps to keep you physically and mentally healthy as you age. Regular exercise can help to reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and some forms of cancer.

Keeping active also helps you to maintain a healthy weight, which can help to keep your blood pressure in check.

It can also help to improve mental health, including reducing the risk of developing dementia.

Falls are serious at any age, but seniors are particularly at risk of injury if bone strength and density are low. Having an active lifestyle will help you stay balanced and prevent falls by building muscle strength and improving bone health later through simple low impact exercises.

Northwest Primary Care

So, if you want to age well, make sure to stay active!

Some easy ways to do this is to try to do at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity on most days of the week.

This could include walking, swimming, cycling or even gardening. And, if you can, try to add some strength-training exercises to your routine too.

These could include lifting weights, using resistance bands or doing exercises such as push-ups and sit-ups.

Of course, it’s also important to eat a healthy diet, get enough sleep and manage stress levels – all of which can help to keep you feeling young and vibrant as you age.

So, start making some healthy lifestyle changes today and enjoy the benefits for years to come!

What Is The Best Time Of Day For Seniors To Exercise?

There is no definitive answer to this question since everyone’s schedules and fitness levels vary. However, many experts recommend that seniors exercise in the morning because it helps to improve their energy levels and mental clarity throughout the day.

I myself am not a morning person. It takes me some time in the morning to “wake up,” so doing any type of activity during that time just wouldn’t be very safe. Unless it’s just reading and sipping my tea.

So, although the morning may be an “ideal” time to exercise, it’s not for me. So choose what works best for you.

Additionally, exercising in the morning can help seniors avoid any afternoon or evening fatigue that could potentially interfere with their sleep quality.

Ultimately, the best time of day for seniors to exercise is whenever they can fit it into their schedule and feel the most comfortable doing so.

How To Find Activities That Work For You

A good friend of mine loves her water aerobics classes which she attends at a local fitness center. Because it’s indoors she can participate in it all year long.

Finding something that you enjoy doing as a really good way to not only enjoy an active lifestyle but to keep on doing it!

As we age, it becomes more and more important to find activities that help us stay physically and mentally active. For seniors, this can be a challenge, as many traditional activities may no longer be possible or desirable.

Here are a few tips for finding activities that work for you:

  • It’s a good idea to check with your local senior center or community center. They may have programs or classes specifically for seniors. These are often one of the best ways to get started.
  • Get involved with a seniors’ group or activity club. This can be a great way to socialize and stay active at the same time.
  • Your local fitness center or local gym may provide free programs for seniors. Especially if they accept Silver Sneakers.
  • Don’t forget to also check what your local YMCA has to offer as well.
  • If the weather is just too frightful or you can’t get out, check out these online exercise classes.
  • Look for gentle versions of activities you used to enjoy. For example, if you used to play tennis, try Pickleball instead.
  • Ask your doctor or physical therapist for recommendations. They may be able to suggest activities that are appropriate for your physical abilities and limitations.
  • Don’t be afraid to try something new! There are plenty of seniors who have taken up new hobbies or activities in their later years and found great enjoyment in them.
  • Ask your friends and family for suggestions. They may know of activities that you would enjoy.
  • Use the internet to search for seniors’ groups or activities in your area.

Unless you live in an active 55 plus type of community, you may find that your social life drops off once you’ve retired.

It does take a certain amount of self motivation to get out and find things to do, but it is well worth the effort.

Not only will you reap the benefits of staying active, but you’ll also enjoy the social interaction that comes with being involved in activities.

What Are Some Unique Hobbies For Seniors?

Seniors often have a lot of time on their hands, and they may be looking for ways to fill that time. There are many unique hobbies that seniors can pursue to keep themselves busy and engaged.

Here are just a few ideas:

Lego

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Believe me, Lego projects are not just for kids anymore! Older adults can find a lot of enjoyment in working with Lego blocks to create all sorts of objects, from simple houses to more complicated sculptures.


Sketching

Norberg & Linden XL Drawing Set – Sketching, Graphite and Charcoal Pencils. Includes 100 Page Drawing Pad, Kneaded Eraser, Blending Stump. Art Kit and Supplies for Kids, Teens and Adults.
  • NOVICE TO PROFESSIONAL: start sketching as soon as you open the drawing kit! Complete drawing supplies set with a sketch pad, art pencils, kneaded eraser, pencil sharpeners, and more.

Now, I know a few seniors who enjoy painting, and that’s great but it requires more tools than just sketching. So, why not try sketching?

It’s a very portable activity that can be done virtually anywhere. And, it’s a lot of fun!


Country Dancing

Yes, seniors can still enjoy dancing, even if they don’t have a partner. There are many different styles of dance that can be learned and enjoyed, from ballroom to salsa to square dancing.

If you don’t want to take classes, you can always watch videos or DVDs at home and learn the steps that way.


Paper Crafts

Skillmatics Ultimate Art & Craft Activity Kit, 2000+ Pieces, Art & Craft Supplies, DIY Creative Activity, Step-by-Step Guide, Gifts for Girls & Boys Ages 6 to 13
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There are so many crafty things that you can do with paper. You could try paper quilling, making crepe paper flowers, origami and much more.

Here’s a great article from thecraftpatchblog.com that will show you some beautiful things that you can create with paper!


Geocaching

I have done this activity and it is a lot of fun! No would recommend to do it on a day where the weather is good, because it is an outdoor activity!

Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.


Soap Making

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This is a great activity for seniors as it is not only creative, but also gives them a chance to relax and unwind.

What You’ll Need:

  • Clear glycerin soap
  • Soap molds
  • Fragrance or essential oils
  • Colors (optional)
  • A double boiler or microwave-safe bowl
  • Large spoon
  • Measuring spoons

Instructions:

1. Cut the glycerin soap into small pieces and place them in the double boiler or microwave-safe bowl.

2. Heat the soap until it is completely melted. This can be done by placing the bowl in the double boiler or microwaving it in 30 second increments.

3. Once the soap is melted, add the fragrance or essential oils and stir well.

4. If you are using colors, add them now and stir until evenly distributed.

5. Pour the soap into the molds and allow it to cool completely.

6. Once cooled, remove the soap from the molds and enjoy!

Soap making is a fun activity for seniors that can be both creative and practical. With just a few supplies and some simple instructions, you can make your own soap to use or give as gifts.


Make Your Own Wine or Beer

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This can be a fun activity, especially for a group of friends. You’ll need some supplies and ingredients, but it’s easy to get started. Especially with these kits.


Wine Making Kit

Craft A Brew – Moscato Making Home Kit – Easy Brew Beginners with Ingredients and Supplies – Ultimate Wine Brewer Experience
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Photography

Okay, so this may not be a very unique activity but I personally do not know anyone who partakes in it so I am just assuming that it’s not very popular.

But I do think it can be an amazing and wonderful activity for many seniors.

What’s great about photography is that it can be a very social activity, you can go out with friends and take pictures together, or you can even join a group.

It’s also a great way to document your life and memories.


Amigurami

You may not have heard of this, I certainly have not! But it’s a great thing to do for anyone who enjoys crocheting.

Amigurami is the Japanese art of crocheting small, stuffed animals and other objects. It is a great hobby for seniors because it can be very relaxing and soothing.

Additionally, it is a great way to meet new people and make friends, as there are often Amigurami clubs and groups that seniors can join.

What I like most about it is that once you’ve finished your creation, you can donate them to a local children’s hospital or shelter.


Become An Author Of Your Own Story

I once heard the actor Tony Danza say that your 60’s is when you begin reflecting on your life. Your accomplishments, failures, relationships, etc.

Why not take those reflections and write them down to document your very own story? It’s a legacy that is uniquely your own.

Your family will forever be grateful for it.


Canning / Preserving

Well, maybe this isn’t so unique but these days, it’s unusual I think.

In a world of fast food and microwave meals, taking the time to can or preserve your own fruits, vegetables, and jams is quite old-fashioned.

I love it because it’s a hobby that keeps on giving. I always have something on hand that I know is healthy and delicious.

Not to mention, it’s great for seniors or older adults who live alone and don’t necessarily want to cook for just one.

I highly recommend giving canning and preserving a try! It’s a lot of fun and very satisfying.


Create a Weekly Get Together Of Some Kind

There are many fun activities that you can “host” on a weekly basis. It’s a great way to get together with friends, family, or even just your neighbors.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Potluck Dinner Party: Have everyone bring their favorite dish to share. You can even theme it if you want (Mexican night, Italian night, etc.).
  • Movie Night: Pop some popcorn and settle in for a fun flick. Again, you could theme this (scary movie night, chick flick night, etc.).
  • Game Night: Choose your favorite board game or card game and have a blast!
  • Exercise Class: Get everyone moving with a fun exercise class. Zumba, yoga, and Pilates are all great options.
  • Poker Night: It used to be just for the boys, but no more! Gather your peeps and find out who’s the best poker player.
  • Bake Off: I used to get together with my great friend Carmela to bake cookies. It was a wonderful way to spend a day together! And we both loved the end results.
  • Learn A New Language: Hire a language teacher to teach your group a new language. It’s much more fun to do together. And you have others to practice with.
  • Host A Tea Party: Many folks do a cocktail party on Friday nights, but if you’re not a drinker, why not host a tea party?
  • Binge Watch A New TV Series: There are so many television shows these days that are gripping, fun and exciting. It’s easy to binge watch several episodes. So why not do it with others?
  • Host A Craft Night: You may have heard of quilting circles. It’s basically a group of people working on quilts together. Well, why not do that with all kinds of other crafts?

There are endless possibilities when it comes to hosting a seniors social. The important thing is to have fun and stay safe!

Popular Winter Activities For Seniors

Now that I’ve listed some unusual activities, it may be worthwhile to find out what is actually popular amongst seniors.

Here are some common winter activities seniors enjoy.

Snowshoeing

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One popular winter activity seniors enjoy is snowshoeing. It’s a great way to get some fresh air and exercise, and it’s also very scenic. Keep an eye out for the symptoms of hypothermia, though.


Puzzles

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Another popular activity seniors enjoy is puzzles. Puzzles are not only a great way to pass the time, but they’re also good for your brain. They help improve your memory and problem-solving skills.


Knitting

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Knitting is another popular winter activity for seniors. It’s a great way to relax and stay warm at the same time. Knitting can be done alone or in groups.

If you don’t know how to knit, there are plenty of how-to videos on YouTube or you can look for a class nearby to learn the basic (or even improve your skills).


Bird Watching

Bird watching is a great way to get out and enjoy the winter scenery. It’s also a great way to learn about different types of birds. Bird watching can be done alone or in groups, and it’s a great way to socialize.


Join A Book Club or Movie Club

I love movies so being part of a movie club would be right up my alley! In a movie club, seniors get together to watch and discuss movies. This is a great way to socialize and make new friends.

Book clubs are another great way for seniors to socialize. In a book club, seniors read and discuss books together. This is a great way to stay active mentally, as well.

If there are no book clubs near you, you look for one online or even start your own!


Cross-Country Skiing

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Another popular winter activity seniors enjoy is cross-country skiing. This is another great way to get some exercise, and it’s also very peaceful. Cross-country skiing can be done alone or in groups, and it’s a great way to explore nature.


Here Are Some Additional Wintertime Activities For Seniors

1) Get a dog! Or borrow a friend’s. Walking a dog is a great way to get some exercise, even when it’s cold outside. And it’s a lot more fun than walking by yourself. Just be sure to take precautions to avoid falling on any ice or snow.

2) Get a workout buddy. This is someone who will help motivate you to stay active, even when it’s cold outside. Having someone to help hold you accountable can be a great motivator.

3) Set goals. Whether it’s losing weight, or just being able to walk a certain distance, setting goals can help you stay on track.

And once you reach those goals, you’ll feel great about yourself and be motivated to keep going.

4) Take advantage of technology. There are all sorts of apps and devices that can help you track your activity levels and progress. And many of them are designed specifically for seniors.

If you’re not sure where to start, ask your doctor or a fitness professional for recommendations.

5) Get involved in your community. There are often many different activities and events going on in your community, especially during the winter months. Getting involved can help you meet new people and stay active.

Consider volunteering for a local organization, joining a seniors’ group, or attending cultural events.

6) Travel. If you have the opportunity, take advantage of it! Travel can be a great way to see new places, meet new people, and learn about different cultures. Seniors often have more time and flexibility to travel than younger people, so take advantage of it!

What Do Most Elderly Do In The Winter?

Many seniors enjoy spending time indoors during the winter months.

Some like to read, watch television, or work on puzzles. Others take up new hobbies, such as knitting or woodworking. Some seniors also use the winter as an opportunity to travel.

Many visit family members who live in other parts of the country or take vacations to warm destinations.

Seniors also have to be careful to stay warm and safe during the winter. Snow and ice can make it difficult to get around, so seniors should take care not to slip when walking outside.

They should also dress in layers to stay warm and be sure to drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.

Lastly, seniors should check with their doctor before undertaking any new physical activity, as the cold weather can aggravate certain medical conditions.


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