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5 Indoor Activities And Exercises You Can Do This Winter

With the ongoing pandemic and winter weather upon us one of the best ways for seniors to stay active is to exercise indoors.

Just because you might have to stay inside due to the cold or pandemic-related restrictions doesn’t mean that you can’t stay active. There are actually many exercise and activity options to help you get moving this winter. Here are five ideas for indoor exercises or activities that can benefit your health. As always, check with your health provider before embarking on any new exercises, especially if you have chronic health conditions like diabetes or heart disease.  

1. Walk indoors

When you walk outdoors, you can socialize and check out the scenery. However, outdoors walking is also subject to the weather, and maybe there are times when you just don’t feel like taking the same walking route. You can still get a workout by walking indoors. Put on a favorite show, and walk while you watch! Make sure to wear your sneakers and keep up a moderate pace. For a challenge, use two-minute intervals to pick up the pace every five to ten minutes. Use an activity tracker to help monitor your steps. Stretch for a few minutes after your walk.

2. Explore on-demand exercise videos

If you have YouTube, then you have access to literally thousands of exercise choices without ever leaving your living room! From yoga to cardio to dance and lots more, YouTube offers many free options. Some potential videos to check out: Great 20 Minute Workout for Seniors and Beginners, Senior Gold Dance Fitness Aerobics, and Yoga for Seniors. If you like a particular video made by someone, you can always subscribe to their channel so you know when they’ve released new videos.

3. Practice balance

Balance exercises go a long way toward helping you to avoid falls. That’s important because one in four Americans over age 65 fall each year, according to the National Council on Aging. In fact, falls are the number-one cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries among those over age 65. You may not always think about doing balance exercises because we hear so much about cardio workouts and other types of exercise. However, tai chi, yoga, and even dancing all can help improve your balance. Here’s a video from the Mayo Clinic that demonstrates balance exercises. Although you may eventually want to do balance exercises in person with an instructor, you can at least get started at home. 

4. Try chair yoga

You’ve likely heard about yoga’s many benefits: It can improve your breathing, balance, and strength and put you in a calmer state. Yoga isn’t limited to those who are the most flexible. If you have limited mobility, you can still do chair yoga and enjoy yoga’s benefits. Here’s a 10-minute chair yoga flow video from AARP, and here’s another video from the YMCA. There are even videos on doing yoga in bed!

5. Learn how to breathe better

Breathing is so basic, we take it for granted. In these days of anxiety and stress over the pandemic and political turmoil, you may find yourself breathing a lot more shallowly than you think. Learning how to breathe properly has so many benefits for your health. It can lessen anxiety, reduce pain, and improve digestion. Breathing exercises also could benefit those who have had COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University. Deep breathing techniques are often part of yoga classes, but there also are videos online that focus specifically on breathing.

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