How to Continue to Exercise as the Weather Changes
Ideas for Remaining Physically Active in Your Home
Many of us become less active in the colder months. As the weather changes, we find ourselves doing less physical activity outdoors and spending more time inside. While there is a natural seasonality to physical activity, it is so important to our physical and emotional health to stay active through the fall and winter seasons.
This is particularly true for seniors. The CDC recommends that seniors maintain a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week and some muscle-strengthening activity at least 2 days a week. What is your plan to maintain your fitness level through the fall and winter seasons in Cleveland? We have compiled a list of ideas for staying active at home.
- Create a home gym using household supplies. Jugs of laundry detergent with handles, heavy coffee table books, or soup cans can be used for different levels of strength-building activities like weight lifting. A sturdy folding chair can be used for balance while stretching. Layer two beach towels as a floor mat for yoga. You do not need to spend money on gym equipment—you likely have more than you need already in your home!
- Use your stairs. As long as you feel safe and comfortable, climbing your stairs multiple times a day can be a great exercise and help make up the difference of a lack of steps outdoors.
- Make a cleaning playlist. If you have to clean and tidy your home, you might as well make it a workout! Create a playlist on your phone or computer, or ask a loved one to make you a CD. An upbeat soundtrack can put some pep in your step as you tackle dusting, sweeping, or other light household chores.
- Move your body while you watch TV. Instead of sitting down to watch a favorite TV show, consider trying to keep moving while you watch. Enjoy your show while you do some marching in place, stretching, or light weights. Every minute of movement counts!
- Relocate your fitness equipment. Many of us have a treadmill or stationary bike collecting dust in the basement, where we are not likely to use it. Ask a family member or neighbor to help you relocate your equipment to your primary living space, such as the family room or a bedroom, so using it can become part of your daily routine.
- Visit a local pool. When was the last time you went for a swim? Swimming is a great exercise for many older adults as it is easy on the joints and an excellent way to get your heart pumping. Many local YMCAs have an indoor pool and offer senior water aerobics classes. Getting in the water can be a great mood booster and a way to try something new.
We hope these ideas help you feel motivated to stay active in your home this fall. If we can provide any support to you, please do not hesitate to reach out to the McGregor PACE team. We are here to serve the needs of Cuyahoga County seniors and their families.