One of the most important things seniors can do to maintain their strength, flexibility, and sense of balance is to exercise. However, it can be difficult to get motivated during the winter months. The cold, snow, and ice often are not conducive to you doing your usual walking or other outdoor exercise safely, and can also impact your ability to get to the gym by car in a safe manner. Luckily, there are a variety of exercises you can perform in the comfort of your own home that can help keep you active until the spring thaw.
Please note that it is always advisable to consult with your doctor before starting any new exercise routine, particularly if your lifestyle has been relatively sedentary up to this point. As you feel stronger, you can increase the repetitions of each exercise slightly beyond the recommended starting points. It is important to work up to extra repetitions gradually to avoid injury.
- Wall squats– Stand with your back flat against the wall. Your feet should be shoulder width apart. Bend your knees until you reach a sitting position, hold for up to 20 seconds, then come back to standing.
- Planks– Lie face down on the floor. Bend your elbows until they are under your shoulders, then raise your legs with the tips of your toes. Hold that position with your core tight for as many seconds as you can, up to 30 seconds.
- Wall push-ups– Straighten your arms all the way out in front of you, then place your palms flat on a wall. Lean towards the wall by bending your arms, then straighten them. Do up to 5 repetitions.
- Arm rotations– Stand with your feet slightly apart, then raise your arms to shoulder length and stretch them all the way out on either side of you. Rotate your arms forward in a circular motion, then backward in a circular motion, 5 times each.
- Hip rotations– Place your arms flat against your body, and position your knees so they are slightly bent and apart. Then, move your hips in a circle 5 times, followed by 5 times in the opposite direction.
- Walking in place– Place your hands on your hips and walk in place, raising one leg at a time. Do this up to ten times.
Finally, you can check YouTube or your cable company’s on-demand channel for free exercise videos. There you will find yoga sessions and low-impact aerobic workouts that you can easily do in your living room. As with all forms of exercise, be sure to speak with your doctor before starting any new exercise routine.