For many of us, winter can seem like never-ending gloom, with little sunshine and snowy, cold weather. When the winds howl and snow flies, we hunker down by a warm fire with a good book or a favorite television show.
Winter brings with it all kinds of potential hazards. Driving in the snow is dangerous, slippery sidewalks can lead to a fall. The flu spreads like wildfire, COVID-19 remains a threat nationwide, especially for seniors/
And it’s far too cold to exercise, right?
Or is it?
For seniors, staying active during the winter months can go a long way toward staying healthy. But “active” doesn’t have to mean running a marathon — or even heading into the cold for a walk or jog.
Simple exercise several times a day is enough to keep muscles and joints in shape, according to Jill Pawlowski, lead resident services director at Vitalia Senior Residence in Strongsville.
“Fear of getting hurt is actually what causes many seniors to stay in – and be more inactive – during the winter months,” she said, “but, in reality, it is really a ‘move-it-or-lose-it’ scenario.”
Pawlowski suggests seniors try and squeeze in exercise at least once a day, though more often is optimal.
“A lot of people, when they get older, think they can’t do something, and they stop moving forever. I say, if it feels good, go for it. If it hurts, pay attention to those signals your body is giving you. But when you don’t move, your body will stiffen up, so it is important to keep moving — even if you do only tiny things every day.