5 Low Impact Ways to Stay Active This Winter

Posted By on December 8, 2020

Getting enough exercise can be hard enough, but during the winter—with colder temperatures, wind, and (depending on your location) snow—it can be even more challenging. When it comes to choosing between exercising or curling up on the couch with a cup of tea, we know the decision most people want to make.

However, an active lifestyle is vital for older adults—resulting in longevity, prevention of chronic disease, and even increased brain function. While getting fresh air is the motivation for some to get active, that may not be an option for you during the winter. Fortunately, there are numerous low impact ways to stay active throughout the colder months, so you can continue to gain all the health benefits of exercise. 

With independent living, assisted living, and memory care communities throughout the United States, HarborChase Senior Living celebrates healthy and active senior living. We’re sharing some winter exercise ideas for you to get moving while staying warm! 

Just Like Riding a Bike

Stationary bikes are a great, low impact exercise option. They provide an effective way to improve cardiovascular health and strengthen muscles without putting pressure on vulnerable joints like the knees and ankles. They also allow you to switch up the intensity and speed so that you’ll never get bored with your workout. 

Stationary bikes are a perfect winter exercise idea because although you are inside, riding the bike will invoke a feeling of being out on the road in the open air. (A bonus is that you can read or catch up on your favorite TV show while riding your bike!) 

HarborChase Safety Tip:

There are two types of stationary bikes: upright and recumbent. Many people find that recumbent bikes are safer and more comfortable for individuals with back or joint problems. 

A Balancing Act

For many older adults, balance and stability eventually become a serious concern. Poor balance can lead to falls, which can lead to fractures and other injuries. Winter months are an excellent time to focus on balance training, allowing you to become more steady and confident on your feet. 

Most balancing exercises are low impact, easy to accomplish, and effective. Working on balancing activities for a few minutes each day is an easy winter exercise idea and gets you ready to hit the trails in the spring! 

HarborChase Safety Tip:

Try balance exercises while barefoot or wearing comfortable sneakers. If you need extra grip, use a yoga mat for more stability. 

Tidy Up

While housework isn’t necessarily everyone’s favorite thing to do, it’s a good way to keep moving and accomplish something around the house. Not only can daily chores keep your home clean, safe, and organized, but they can also provide physical and mental benefits. Studies show that daily household activities—even something as simple as sweeping or preparing dinner—can help reduce the risk of cognitive decline.  

HarborChase Safety Tip:

While cleaning your house, keep an eye out for anything that might be hazardous, such as throw rugs with no grip, cords running across the floor, loose stair railings, or piles of clutter. 

Bundle Up and Take a Walk

Going outside on a walk isn’t your typical winter exercise idea, but walking provides so many health benefits that it’d be remiss not to mention it. Simply going on a brief daily walk can improve sleep levels and appetite, reduce feelings of anxiety and depression, and enhance overall health and wellness.

HarborChase Safety Tip:

If you do go outside in the winter, be sure that you’re appropriately dressed—especially if you live in a state with harsher winter weather and colder temperatures. Wear loose layers of clothing, hats and gloves, and sturdy boots. Also, be sure that wherever you walk is clear of snow, ice, or slush. 

Just Keep Swimming

Another low impact winter exercise idea is swimming or water aerobics. Swimming is a perfect exercise option all year round, but it can be especially enjoyable in an indoor heated pool (with a potential dip in the hot tub afterward). Not only can swimming help maintain health and wellness, but it can also aid in mobility and reduce recovery time from injuries.

HarborChase Safety Tip:

The safety rules for swimming apply to adults as much as they apply to children. Never go swimming alone. A group fitness or water aerobics class is a great way to enjoy the benefits of swimming while staying safe. 

Don’t Get Cold Feet

Even though it can be tempting to stay inactive during the cold winter months, exercising and moving regularly will help improve overall health and wellness in the long run. With these simple winter exercise ideas, staying active during winter is easier and more accessible than ever. And besides, who says you can’t curl up with a cup of tea after you exercise? 

HarborChase Senior Living is a proud senior housing provider with independent living, assisted living, and memory care communities throughout the United States. We encourage all residents and guests to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle and promote this through classes, events, and programs. 

We invite you to contact HarborChase to learn more about our independent living communities and start celebrating senior living with us.

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