5 Ways Seniors can stay flexible year round

During the winter season, staying physically active becomes quite a bit more challenging. When the weather is rough outside, it is harder to get to the gym or to find the drive to move around at all. However, fitness and health don’t take a vacation, exercise is something that must be done year round. This is especially true for the elderly. By remaining active, senior citizens are able to enjoy a good level of energy, allowing them to remain independent and also keep a variety of illnesses and pains away. Incorporating daily exercise into your everyday routine is a great idea whether you’re already an active senior citizen with good health, or if you are ill and would like to improve your health. The key is to integrate it into activities that you already do and enjoy throughout your day. Let’s take a look at a few ways you can incorporate exercise into your daily routine.

WATCH TV

There is nothing quite as cozy and fun as watching a good show when the weather is bad outside. However, there is a lot of time that we spend watching TV that could also benefit us in a variety of ways. It is estimated that people over the age of 65 spend an average of 47 hours a week watching TV. This seems like the ideal time to incorporate some exercise into. You won’t even realize you’re getting a workout when you’re deeply enthralled in the latest TV drama. Two great exercises you can do are arm circles and leg lifts. To do arm circles,  circle your arms slowly to stretch the upper body. If you’re feeling up to it, you can stretch the length of your arms out and circle them around to build up endurance. Leg lifts are also quite simple. You just sit down on your favorite comfy sofa and extend your knee straight out. Then, pump your ankle up and down to stretch leg muscles. By doing these 30 minutes to an hour every time you watch TV, you’ll get some great health benefits beyond the thrilling story you are following.

COOK WITH MUSIC

Do you love to cook? Do you love music? Then why not mix the two for a fun daily exercise? Pick your favorite album, put it on the player and start cooking. Start slow, and work up to the rhythm of the music. As you’re chopping up ingredients, move your body a little more than you usually do. Then when you’re all warmed up, try doing some of your old dance moves. Who knows, you might get yourself started on a dancing party! And get inspired to take some ballroom dancing classes. If you find that dancing is a bit much for you, you can also do some stationary exercises while you cook, and still dance to the music this way. While standing at the kitchen counter, do small knee bends. Or from a standing position, go up on your toes, then down again. March on the spot. Do side leg raises while standing at the kitchen counter. There are many ways of including small exercises like these into your everyday moments. You could also use the time you’re waiting on something to cook to do some sit-to-stand exercises. Simply sit down then stand up. It’s all about noticing how you can use anywhere you are at for an impromptu small workout. All of these small movements throughout the day add up to big flexibility changes.

PLAY WITH YOUR GRANDKIDS

There is nothing quite as wonderful as spending time with your grandkids. In them, you are able to see your past and future in their bright little faces. However, keeping up with their energetic souls can be a bit challenging sometimes! By being creative, you can still play games with them that won’t leave you breathless, and that will make you feel like a kid again instead. One of the best ways of doing this is to get down on their level. Today’s kids love video games.  Many modern game systems have sports games such as golf, tennis, baseball, skiing, boxing, Frisbee, and more. But these aren’t just made for kids! If you miss playing sports like you used to, a PlayStation or Wii system could be the next best thing. You can set the level to your own abilities and play within the comfort of your living room. This levels the playing field for both of you, and you’ll be able to create wonderful bonding memories with them while getting your daily exercise.

TALK ON THE PHONE

When we were teenagers, we could spend hours talking to our friends on the phone. However, as life gets busier, spending that much time on the phone often becomes obsolete, and long distance friendships with family and friends can dissipate over time. If you are at home quite a bit, why not call up family members or friends? Instead of laying on the couch for hours at a time like back in the day, use it as a chance to walk around the house! You can cover a mile by simply walking through your halls, around rooms, and even going up and down stairs if you are able to. Before you know it, you’ll have gotten a full hour’s worth of walking, as well as a closer connection to your family member or friend.

TAKE UP A FITNESS CLASS

There is something about taking a fitness class that makes you feel so wonderfully accomplished. There are many options for taking fitness classes, ranging from ones that are taught at the local gym, to ones that you can take from the comfort of your living room. The second option is the best for those frigid winter months. Yoga is a popular exercise that many seniors benefit from. Look for classes, teachers, or even DVDs that are aimed at yoga for seniors, these will be designed with your specific capabilities in mind. Another great option is Tai chi, which has been used for centuries to promote balance and flexibility. Studies have shown it is particularly useful for seniors with chronic conditions. This Chinese art focuses on teaching you to move your body slowly and gently in specific movements, always being aware of each movement, and breathing consciously. This is a great thing to do in addition to your other daily exercises, helping you to move better throughout your day.

And there you have it! Five ways to stay fit, no matter what the weather looks like outside. By incorporating these fun exercises into your every day routine you will keep your body flexible and active throughout the whole year, helping you to brilliantly enjoy your golden years to their absolute fullest!