Winter is here which for most of the nation means months of freezing cold temperatures and long days stuck inside. Maintaining our normal levels of healthy physical activity can be challenging during this time – particularly for an elderly population with an increased risk of falling ill or getting injured during the winter months. To help the aging population stay safe and active this winter, the health and wellness staff at Wake Robin, a Life Plan Community in Shelburne, VT have provided a few helpful tips.
First and foremost, prevent wintertime falls. A common problem among the elderly is broken hips, which happen more frequently in winter due wet and slippery conditions. To help prevent wintertime falls seniors should wear shoes with non-skid soles, stay only on sidewalks or areas that have been cleared of snow and ice, use handrails when available and avoid getting out after dark or in hazardous weather conditions.
Head to the mall. In the early hours, before all of the shoppers arrive a mall can offer a great walking course for seniors. The stairs provide an added level of activity and the indoor climate makes it a safe option. As a bonus – you can scope out the store’s offerings without a crowd of people around.
Take up yoga. Yoga is a great source of physical activity during the winter months. It’s a low-impact option that’s perfect for all ages and abilities, and it also provides an opportunity to meditate and find your inner peace.
Bust out the dancing shoes. If you live in a retirement community see if they offer dance classes or even monthly community dances. If they don’t, see if you can start one. Dancing is a great way to stay active during the colder months, and it’s an excellent way to socialize as well.
Head to the pool. Check to see if there is an indoor community pool in your area that offers free swim times or classes like water aerobics. Swimming is a great low impact activity that gets your heart rate moving and keeps you out of the cold.
Wake Robin, a Life Plan Community in Shelburne, VT, has outlined five ways seniors can stay safe while still remaining active during the cold winter months. If you’d like, I could connect you with Linda Phypers, Director of Health Services, at Wake Robin who could provide additional winter safety tips.