It’s easy to let your health slip when winter arrives. Sweets and comfort food seem to be available all day, every day, and snow and ice may keep you indoors and bring your workouts to a halt. But it doesn’t have to be this way. It’s time to learn how to stay healthy in winter with a new workout routine that doesn’t require much equipment or even a trip to the gym.
How to Stay Healthy in Winter
One of the best ways to improve your mood and your health during the winter is to create a workout schedule. If this sounds daunting, don’t worry. You don’t have to head to the gym or have a ton of free weights or a treadmill at your disposal.
You can fit in a decent workout in as little as 20 minutes, and many effective exercises can be completed at home, including daily walks, stretching, strength training, and chair yoga. If you want to build muscle, grab those 5-pound free weights (or a couple cans of soup) and get in some simple arm exercises while you watch the morning news. Don’t have weights handy? Check out these eight simple equipment-free workouts from U.S. News & World Report.
The key is to incorporate exercises that fall into the four pillars of workouts laid out by the AARP: endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility.
As the AARP reports, “Endurance exercises work on your heart, lungs and circulatory system. They include brisk walking, running, swimming, bicycling and similar activities.” Even dancing counts as an endurance workout. As long as you get your heart rate up, you will see benefits. Even better, you don’t have to position yourself on the treadmill for hours each day. Even a 15-minute walk or a 30-minute ride on the stationary bike a few times each week is enough to improve your health, and you don’t have to venture outside into the snow and ice.
Focusing on strength training is a great way to protect your bones from breaks and other injuries. According to an article by U.S. News & World Report, “Any weight-bearing exercise in which you’re standing and gravity is pulling down on your body lightly stresses and strengthens the bones and muscles. Plus, every time a muscle contracts, it pulls on the bones it’s attached to, which stimulates the cells within the bone to produce structural proteins and move minerals into the bone.” Simple exercises like lunges, squats, and bicep curls offer easy ways to include strength training in your workout routine.
As we age, falls become more and more dangerous. That’s why balance is so important to your overall health. Luckily, when you’re wondering how to stay healthy in winter, working on your balance is an easy task to knock off the list. You can improve your balance with any of these seven simple exercises from the fitness app Aaptiv. Each exercise is geared to improve the balance of people 60 years old and older.
Flexibility is one of those skills you can easily lose if you don’t practice it regularly. It might not sound like a big deal, but flexibility is actually critically important to your overall health. As the Livestrong Foundation explains, flexibility improves your circulation, increases your range of motion, reduces pain, and can help prevent injury in daily life. One popular exercise among seniors that can improve your flexibility and balance is chair yoga. If you want to learn more about chair yoga, try this approachable online routine from The Chopra Center.
Discovering how to stay healthy in winter is easier than it might sound. You don’t need expensive workout equipment or access to a gym to improve your health and start a regular fitness routine. If you’re unsure which workouts are best for you, talk with your doctor. But don’t let the winter season be an excuse to let your health slip.
At Springhouse Village, we know how important it is to enjoy your retirement in a healthy, lively, and welcoming environment. We make it easy for our residents to be active participants in our community. Whether that means encouraging residents to shop at local farmers markets or assisting them in starting a garden club, we strive to help our residents thrive. To learn more about the activities, amenities, and services we offer, contact Springhouse Village today.