For many seniors, living life to the fullest means making the most of every day by staying active physically and engaged mentally. Now that summer is almost over, many opportunities for staying active may soon be gone as well. As autumn rolls in, with winter not far behind, now’s a great time for active seniors to seek new ways to keep body and mind on the move and reap the benefits, even as the days grow shorter and cooler. Here’s a list of simple ways to stay active every day.
Set an exercise schedule
One of the best ways to stick to an exercise routine is to schedule it into each day or week. Regular exercise helps build not only physical strength, but also stamina, and helps maintain and improve balance and flexibility.
In senior living this is especially easy because many exercise options are preplanned and available day-to-day in one form or another. Examples include walking indoors or out (weather permitting), aerobics or yoga classes, or working out in the fitness center. Before beginning to exercise regularly, seniors should check with their physician to make sure they are able to exercise safely. To create a customized exercise plan, the healthline.com blog, “Exercise Plan for Seniors,” offers great exercise options and an example plan.
Embrace active opportunities
For fit and active seniors who want to take advantage of daily opportunities to squeeze in a little more exercise, try these:
- Take the stairs rather than the escalator or elevator. Stair climbing is a great cardio exercise and helps build and strengthen muscles and joints and improve balance.
- Do housework. It may seem a little dull, but doing housework like sweeping or washing floors, vacuuming, washing windows, and even making beds and doing laundry are all great ways to get exercise and a clean home at the same time!
- Ride a bike to run nearby errands. As long as the weather allows, riding a bike to the drug store out to lunch or to other nearby destinations is a fun way to get exercise and enjoy the last warm days.
- Prep the garden for winter. Whether in the ground or containers, gardens need to be cleaned up and prepared for next spring before the snow flies. Shoveling, raking, and even planting spring flowering bulbs are all great ways to exercise while doing something most gardeners enjoy. And having everything in order makes for a lovely spring when flowers begin to bloom!
- Play with grandkids. Grandkids, it’s often said, will keep you young, and this is especially true when seniors engage in play with them. Simple games like hide-and-go-seek or mock races or even a scavenger hunt are all easy and fun activities to do with youngsters inside or outdoors.
For even more ways to stay active, the goldencarers.com blog, “Exercise Activity Ideas for Seniors & the Elderly,” offers some fun and unique ideas to do alone or with others.
Play brain games
Staying active and fit includes keeping the mind sharp and it’s never been easier for seniors to accomplish. Even during the coldest days of winter, active seniors can work puzzles including jigsaw, crossword and find-the-word; test themselves with trivia, play card games, and others right at home. For those who have access to a computer, tablet or smartphone, the internet is literally packed with brain games for people of all ages including seniors, that not only stimulate but entertain as well. Here are some great websites to try:
Luminosity offers games for a range of brain activities including speed, memory, attention, flexibility, problem solving, words, and math. Free or paid subscriptions.
AARP provides a variety of fun and challenging games including word/crossword games, puzzles, arcade games, card games, and more. Free.
brainHQ is a collection of games designed by renowned neuroscientists to specifically challenge, exercise and train the brain. Free or paid subscription.
Peak is an award-winning app that offers a variety of challenging games designed to “make lifelong progress enjoyable.” Exercises are geared toward improving cognitive abilities such as problem solving, memory, attention, and more. Free or annual paid subscription.
Braingle is a fun website offering puzzles, trivia, “mentalrobics,” brain teasers, a variety of challenging quizzes, strategy games, and more. Free.
Cognifit offers a variety of cognitive games for all ages to help with memory, perception, reasoning, coordination, and attention. Free but signup is required.
Staying active is an excellent way to stay fit in body and mind and at North Chandler Place, we offer great ways to do just that in a safe and secure community. To learn more about North Chandler Place, our housing options and great amenities, contact us today!