We all know the benefits of exercise, especially as we age. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that older adults exercise 150 minutes per week for optimal health. Staying active – even in the winter – has been known to help seniors prevent chronic disease, improve mood, increase mobility, and lower the risk of injury. With these health benefits in mind, consider turning toward indoor-friendly workouts that can help you stay fit throughout the winter season.
Here are six simple indoor exercises to try. Check with your doctor first to determine if these exercises are safe for you:
Keep reading to learn more about each of these senior-friendly indoor workouts.
Regular brisk walks can help you maintain a healthy weight, strengthen bones and muscles, and improve your balance and coordination. To protect yourself from cold, snowy or icy conditions, consider taking a walk around your neighborhood shopping mall, an indoor track, or another large public place free from outdoor winter elements. Aim for 30-minute intervals or about 2.5 hours of brisk walking per week.
Cycling is a low-impact form of exercise that can help increase cardiovascular health and body strength without putting additional pressure on your joints as may occur during running or other higher-impact sports. In addition to reducing strain on the joints, cycling can keep your heart healthy, and may even slow down the aging process. In the winter months, consider trying an indoor cycling class at a local spin studio or gym. You can also find stationary bikes in most indoor fitness centers. Indoor biking can be a fun and invigorating way for seniors to reap all the health benefits of cycling during the winter months without having to go outside.
Yoga can be an incredibly beneficial way to remain active at any age. It offers a wide variety of health benefits, including strengthening bones, protecting joints, improving balance, and boosting mood. If you’re not an experienced yogi, don’t worry! Most poses can be modified to meet any fitness level or body needs. Whether you learn senior-friendly foundational poses at home or with the help of a trained yoga instructor at a studio, you can stretch and breathe your way to better health in the indoor warmth all winter long.
Pilates is another low-impact strength program that can be great for people at any age, including seniors. These indoor workouts are focused on helping you develop core strength and stability, which can improve balance and tone your body. From mat work to equipment-assisted exercises, you’ll likely find that many indoor gyms and studios offer Pilates classes for first-timers so that you can learn the basics from a pro in a safe environment.
Check this database to find the nearest Pilates class for seniors.
Building and maintaining your body strength keeps your bones healthy, improves mobility, prevents falls, and reduces pain from arthritis. Seniors can take advantage of these health benefits with a few gentle and easy strength-training exercises that can be done from the comfort of your home, such as squats and toe stands.
Discover more strength training exercises for seniors on our blog.
While you’re tucked inside for the winter, consider working on your balance. While balance training is important for all ages, it can be especially beneficial for older adults to help prevent falls and other accidents. Here are a few simple workouts to get started:
- Standing on one foot for 10-20 seconds, then switch.
- Walk heel to toe for 20 steps. Steady yourself with a wall as needed.
- Walk in a straight line for as long as possible.
Find more exercises to improve balance here.
These six indoor exercises for seniors are just a few of the many great ways to stay fit and healthy indoors throughout winter! As always, be sure to check in with your doctor or fitness expert before beginning a new exercise program.
Read more articles on living your best life on our senior living and independence blog.