Seniors! Stay active this winter—it’s good for you

Seniors take an exercise class at Smith Crossing retirement home in Orland Park, IL

Keeping active during the winter can be challenging. The days are shorter. And in the Midwest, it gets COLD! But it’s still important to get regular exercise. Why? Because exercise:

  • Helps boost your immune system — the body’s defense against infections.
  • Increases your stamina and strength.
  • Helps enhance your mood, and keep those “winter blues” away.

And always, before you begin any exercise program, it’s important to talk to your doctor.

Senior exercising at Smith Crossing

At home

  • Try a workout video. If you have an iWatch, Apple offers an exercise subscription. With Amazon Prime, you can stream exercise classes to your TV. Most local libraries offer a good selection of DVDs. Choose a time of day for your workout, and stick with it.
  • Create a home gym. It can be as simple as weights. Or, if you have the space, equipment such as a treadmill or exercise bike.
  • Keep track of your exercise regimen with a wearable fitness tracker, such as those made by FitBit, Garmin or Apple. They can monitor your heart rate, steps and calories burned.
  • Do daily chores. Did you know you can burn 160 calories or more every hour when you do general housework?

Outside

If you intend to stay active outdoors during the winter, be sure you do it safely.

  • Dress with the proper winter attire. The cold draws blood from your extremities to your body’s core, making you susceptible to frostbite.
  • Wear a warm hat. You lose a lot of heat through your head.
  • Choose the right footwear. Protect yourself against falls. Your shoes or boots should be insulated and provide traction on ice and snow. Here’s a list of the best winter footwear, as reviewed by the New York Times.
  • Don’t forget to wear your sunscreen. The winter sun is less intense, but you can still get sunburn if you’re not protected.

The AARP has more on dressing for winter weather.

Enjoy an active life at Smith Crossing

A wide choice of exercise classes, engaging daily activities are all part of our vibrant community lifestyle. It’s another reason why Smith Crossing is a leader in senior retirement living and senior healthcare in Chicagoland’s Southwest suburbs.