How to Stay Active During the Cold Winter Months

Ideas to keep you physically active inside the comfort of your home or backyard:

  1. Try online exercise videos such as yoga, arthritis-friendly workouts, chair exercises, Tao Chi or an exercise program offered near you.
  2. Cleaning the house (dusting, mopping, vacuuming, etc.) can help keep your body active as well as keep you busy when you feel stuck inside your home.
  3. Dancing to your favorite music can be a fun way to be physically active and can be done with friends over video conferencing or the telephone.
  4. Raking leaves or shoveling snow are great moderate forms of exercise – Just be sure to check with your doctor to see if these types of exercise are safe for you.
  5. If you have stairs in your home or that lead into your home, start with a few minutes of walking up and down the the stairs while holding on to the railing. Over time work up to adding more minutes as you feel comfortable.

NOTE: Do not try doing this in the winter if your stairs are slick or covered in ice.

  1. Try doing wall pushups, arm raises, hand gripping exercises, or lifting soup cans (or light free weights) in your home during television commercials – this exercise can really add up during an hour long show! <!–split–>

Benefits of Exercise:

  • Staying physically active helps you to continue to remain in dependent in your own home.
  • Reduces feelings of anxiety and depression or the “blues.”
  • Keeping physically active helps to keep your mind sharp by improving cognitive function.
  • Helps build and maintain the strength of your bone, joints, and muscles – balance and strength training exercises may even help to lower your risk of falling by 40%.
  • Exercise may help to keep away unwanted weight gain, which is associated with a variety of health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, and certain types of cancers.
  • Aerobic exercises help improve the health of your heart and exercise in general helps to control blood sugars for people with diabetes.
  • Helps to reduce arthritis pain. Studies have shown that older adults with osteoarthritis experienced less pain and were more flexible after approximately 4 months of doing strength training exercises.

We are starting a new year! Start moving more! You don’t have to do Olympic workouts right way. Just move more than you did the day before and you are on your way!

Your Parish Nurse, Kara