There’s nothing quite like a brisk walk on a warm sunny day to get your body moving. Of course, they can’t all be warm sunny days. Some days are blistering hot and others are freezing cold. Some days, it’s bound to rain. And depending on where you live, you can probably also plan on a winter with plenty of ice and snow.
So where does this leave you? Well, mostly indoors.
But when it comes to keeping up with your exercise routine, being indoors isn’t a deal-breaker. In fact, there are all kinds of healthy, physically beneficial activities that you can do without ever leaving the comfort of a temperature-controlled environment.
Why Stay Indoors?
Seniors are more susceptible to the health and injury risks that come with extreme temperature. Older adults are more likely to suffer from dehydration, exhaustion or heat stroke if outdoors for prolonged periods of time in the hot weather.
The same heightened risks apply in the cold weather as well. For those living with arthritis or other joint pain, the cold can cause jarring and even debilitating stiffness. For those who have had heart surgery or are at a higher risk for coronary episode, it is also advisable to avoid the shock that the extreme cold can have on your body as a whole.
Beyond the weather, the outdoors can present a great many more risks, especially to those seniors with health or mobility limitations. Uneven terrain, muddiness or even just your general distance from first aid and health assistance can come with their own risks of falling and injury. This is why some fitness experts suggest that you develop exercise habits that can be pursued indoors.
What Can I Do?
When it comes to indoor exercising, the only limitation is your own range of physical abilities. The Examiner offers a few suggestions for exercises you can do anywhere that you feel comfortable.
Low Impact Reps: Physical activity does not have to be rigorous to be beneficial. You can maintain a healthy and active lifestyle by integrating some daily, low-impact stretches and exercises into your lifestyle. The Examiner suggests knee bends, arm rotations, hip whirls and walking in place as activities that you can do without ever leaving your own home.
Long Walks: Your house isn’t the only indoor location where you can enjoy the health benefits of low-impact exercise. For a long walk, try a visit to the mall, a department store or the supermarket. Not only do such indoor locations offer temperature and environmental controls, but most should also offer ample seating and a food court should you get a hankering for something tasty.
Classes: Canoe.ca also points out that there are plenty of group classes that you can join that take place indoors and are designed to accommodate seniors. Join a yoga or dance class. Or enjoy the full-body benefits of swimming or water-aerobics. Whatever you do, the gym offers the benefits of a trainer, guidance and close-at-hand medical support.
No matter where you exercise, safety must be a top priority. Don’t over-exert yourself and respect your own limitations. Depending on these limitations, you should consider working out in the company of a friend, a caretaker or a trainer. Always make sure that assistance and medical help are nearby.
And before you start a new exercise routine, make sure you consult your physician or physical therapist. A professional can help you develop an indoor exercise routine that makes sense for you.