It’s been a very cold winter in many parts of the country, and that means more folks are spending the day inside. It does raise some questions about staying active in the wintertime. As with many things, this offers some unique challenges for those in their golden years: what are some good indoor activities for seniors during the winter? There are a lot of great options for seniors who want to stay active and engaged during the winter while avoiding the worst of the cold. Here are some winter indoor activities you (or the senior in your life) might enjoy.
A common misconception about indoor activities is that they do not involve physical activity. There are, however, several indoor physical activities for seniors that you can do in the winter. In spite of the cold weather outside and cozy conditions inside, physical activity is important regardless of age or season. Here are some enjoyable potential physical activities for seniors in the wintertime:
- Yoga and Tai Chi are both gentle physical activities that can increase and maintain flexibility, muscle tone, and stamina. They can both be done indoors with minimal space, and are easy to learn. As a bonus, both yoga and tai chi can be tailored to every level of physical ability. Both in-person classes and online videos are available–search YouTube for “Yoga/Tai Chi for seniors”–so give them a try!
- Lifting weights is an easy way to get a workout in and explore a new activity. You don’t need to lift heavy to get the benefits that weightlifting can offer. Start off light with some basic exercises and go as slowly as you need to. As with yoga and tai chi, there are both in-person classes and online lessons available and the activity can be easily tailored to seniors.
- Walking can, in fact, be an indoor activity! Treadmills and ellipticals are a great way to get a walking workout indoors, but you can also just walk around your house or even just your living room as you like. It’s an easy way to get some exercise: cue up a movie or TV show you like and just stroll into your own house!
- Home projects and housework can be a great way to get light exercise and make your home a bit more pleasant to live in. Basic cleaning, meal prep, or a home improvement project can be easy, fun ways to keep your body and mind busy during the winter. Go at your own pace, tackle projects you’re comfortable with, and have fun.
It’s important to note that you should take your physical abilities and health into account before starting any new physical activity, and consult your doctor before jumping into a new physical hobby.
Keeping your mind engaged is important during the winter months as well as keeping your body active, and there are plenty of indoor activities for seniors during the winter that can contribute to mental activity and development. Some of these include:
- Reading is a wonderful way to keep your mind engaged and growing, and can be an absolutely delightful activity on a cold winter’s day. There’s no limit to what you can read, from romance novels to classic literature to the newspaper. Find things you like, read them, and enjoy them!
- Board games of all kinds can be fun for seniors in winter, especially if you live with other people. It’s a great way to get everyone in the home together around the same table and can keep your mind and social skills sharp. Some of the more strategic games like chess and go can keep your mind engaged and give you a new hobby to learn and explore on your own as well.
- Art is a worthy activity at any age, and you can get started in your own home with minimal space and materials. There are a host of books, online videos, and lessons or classes available, and you can explore whatever artistic avenue intrigues you. Whether it’s as simple as doodling a picture or writing a poem on scrap paper or as elaborate as oil painting, jump in and try some art. You don’t have to be great at it to enjoy it and explore it!
Winter’s not over yet, and there’s plenty of cold weather ahead in much of the nation. So for seniors around the country, there’s ample chance to make this winter a rewarding one by engaging in any of several activities that can make the cold weather a chance to learn, grow, and enjoy their golden years!