Now that the holidays are over, the rest of winter begins to settle in. For seniors, winter can be an especially challenging time. It is harder to get outside for a walk or receive visitors. Being cooped up, combined with the shorter days and cold, can lead to a less stimulating environment. However, this doesn’t mean seniors should merely hunker down and wait for spring. In fact, engaging in a little daily exercise, extra social time, and other activities that make you feel good will go a long way towards your health and happiness!
Exercise: For the body, as well as the mind
Exercise can be a challenge during the winter months. It’s easy for lethargy to set in when the days are shorter, the skies darker, the sidewalks icy, and the temperatures chilly. Still, exercise is a huge mood-booster, and of course, great for maintaining your mobility and fitness level. On days you’re able to, even getting out for a short walk has the benefit of giving you sunlight, fresh air, perspective, and exercise. For indoor exercise, walking in hallways or malls is another idea for a cardio workout. Finding a senior exercise class in your community will have the twofold benefit of physical fitness and social opportunities. If you live in assisted living, your center may have exercise classes.
Eat Right: Fresh and healthy foods for the waist, immune system, and the brain
Eating fresh fruits and vegetables in winter gives our body a boost, and can also help keep us trim and lift our spirits. Although the tendency in winter is to gravitate towards heavier, carbohydrate-laden foods, these can cause blood sugar surges that, after a short boost, leave us feeling cranky and tired. Foods rich in vitamin C will help ward off winter illnesses, and those rich in omega-3’s, such as salmon and spinach, are brain boosters that also reduce inflammation. Vitamin D deficiency is a common problem in North America during the winter.
Socialize: Remain engaged
Socializing isn’t just good for the soul and maintaining relationships: it also keeps our mind active and engaged. So, while it’s easy to want to spend winter hours in front of the TV, your brain–as well as your mood–will thank you if you stay engaged with others! Talking over lunch or dinner, playing games, joining a class, or even simply staying in touch with loved ones over the phone or webcam are all ideas for keeping up connections.
Autumn Pointe is located in Calhoun, Nebraska, and is devoted to excellent short-term and respite care, as well as several levels of long-term assisted living. Our residents are treated like family, and our local community provides even more special opportunities to make new friendships and social connections. To learn more, please visit our website or call (402) 468-4700 today!