When the cooler temperatures start rolling in, it is far more desirable to snuggle up in the comfort of a warm blanket and toasty fire than it is to even contemplate going outside. Often, going for a leisurely walk or bike ride is burdensome in the colder months, and thus the motivation to be active dwindles to almost zero. Don’t lose heart, though! While the conventional means of exercise are (usually) out of commission for the season, there are other options that are both fun and beneficial.
(As with any new health/fitness adaptation, make sure to consult your physician before you begin)
If you’ve yet to try a water aerobics class, I highly recommend that you sign up this winter and give it a go! Classes are taught at a variety of places, including local YMCAs and local colleges and universities. Cost ranges from $70-$80 per month, and classes run anywhere from one month to multiple months. There are aerobics classes for all age divisions, but there is almost always a class specifically for seniors and/or those with arthritis.
During the winter, water aerobics is taught indoors in a heated (but not hot) pool, which is the perfect solution to less than desirable outdoor conditions. While participants will need to bring their own swimsuit and optional accessories (shower cap, goggles, towels, etc.) the facilities will provide any equipment needed to actually participate in the routines. Water aerobics is an aquatic adventure that will brighten any mid-winter activity slump that you may be facing.
Recently, many popular gym chains (like Gold’s, Axiom, etc.) have started offering month-to-month memberships rather than locking members into a year-long contract upon joining. This option is fantastic for seniors looking to stay active through the winter months since you can start/stop membership at your leisure. Monthly membership costs are around $20-$30 per month depending on the type of package that your senior selects. Gyms are open across a broad spectrum of hours, alleviating the pressure of time constraints. The amenities vary by facility, but each gym will have bike, treadmill, and free-weight options (others will also have pools, saunas, and instructor-led classes). Gyms have a variety of activities and a flexible hours schedule which makes them both appealing and convenient.
Much like the previously mentioned activities, dance classes are usually offered year-round. However, due to their indoor venue location and variety of dance styles, classes become particularly intriguing in the colder months. Classes can be private or public, and costs vary depending on the length of the program, the size of the class, and the instructor(s).
Mobility will be the biggest determining factor when selecting the style of dance. Waltz and ballroom dance classes are great for those who prefer a slower pace, while line and swing dancing classes are ideal for those who prefer a faster pace. If seniors can attend as couples, that’s great – but it’s not a requisite – partners can be assigned at the class, too. Dance lessons are a great way to develop a new, exciting group of friends while picking up a new hobby.
(Photo courtesy of www.blissfullotusyoga.com)
Thanks to recent popularity over the past few years, yoga classes are more accessible than ever. Sessions can be taught in studios, gyms, or even in the comfort of your own home (if you enlist the services of a freelance yogi). There are varying degrees of exertion based upon your comfort level, from complete novice to highly advanced. If you are having difficulty determining which class is best for you, don’t hesitate to consult with an instructor. They will not only be able to offer advice, but will likely be able to recommend a particular class to attend based upon your needs. The benefits of yoga are many; from increased flexibility to sleeping better at night. Since yoga occurs inside, it’s a great way to combat the sedentary nature of the winter months.
Don’t let the cold weather and shorter days discourage you from exercising and staying healthy. Try water aerobics, join a gym or sign up for dance lessons. These activities will make the winter months fly by, and could possibly become a new favorite pastime.
Author Bio: Madison Hill is a Seattle-based mother of two who takes pride in still being able to embarrass her children despite their ages. She spends her free time deciphering petroglyphs and pictographs. When she’s not baking homemade shoofly pie, you can find her writing about home care.