Active Aging

5 Indoor Exercises And Activities To Enjoy This Winter

Get moving! Moving your body is one of the easiest ways to boost your mood and strengthen your muscles. Finding activities and exercises that you enjoy doing will not only put an extra skip in your step, but it’ll also give you the motivation to make them part of your everyday routine. 

Motivation doesn’t magically appear as you’re laying in bed wrapped up like a cocoon. You need to get yourself up and do something–preferably something you enjoy! 

Here are 5 fun indoor activities and exercises perfect for older adults to help build and support your mental and physical well-being and repel those winter blues.

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1. Walking

Walking is an easy and effective exercise that’s great for all ages, and you don’t need any equipment besides a good pair of shoes…or if you’re Nancy Sinatra…boots! (“These boots are made for walking…”)

You should aim for about 20 minutes of walking per day. Just enough to increase your heart rate and get that blood pumping!

Don’t have a lot of room indoors? Not a problem! If you have a treadmill, that’s fantastic, but you don’t need one. You can have some fun and map a route around your house! 

Use your indoor environment to your advantage, go up and down the stairs, round the couch, bookshelf, bed, have some fun and change it up every day–giving yourself new obstacles to go around.

2. Grab A Chair

For this exercise, all you need is a chair. Seriously, you’d be surprised at all the exercises you can do with an ordinary chair. 

From simple stretching movements like neck and ankle rotations to balancing on one leg to the challenging one leg squat – you’re bound to find something that piques your interest and poses a challenge.

Please make sure you have a sturdy chair on an even, non-slip surface. You can start with heel raises and then progress to stretching out your upper back and, eventually, balancing on one leg. Find something that you’re comfortable with but also that challenges you. In addition, this is a great way to relieve tension in your back and neck and is a wonderful warm-up for other exercises. For more specific instructions on various movements, visit here.

3. Play Video Games

This one may seem strange, but stick with us! Video games can be an excellent way to get in a good mental and physical workout. The Nintendo Wii comes with a fun assortment of games – tennis, bowling, baseball, and yoga, just to name a few.

Even if you aren’t familiar with how the Wii works, it simply takes a bit of practice to learn how it all works. Caregivers at senior centers and assisted living facilities have reported that seniors love the Wii, and it can even help improve balance, which reduces the chance of suffering a fall.

You can find a Nintendo Wii at major retailers like Walmart and Amazon, or check your local resale sites. There are also many accessories and different types of remotes that you’ll want to add on. 

Video games aren’t just for the kids and grandkids, have some fun and get your game on!

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4. Use Resistance Bands

Resistance bands are great for strength exercises and only require your bodyweight to build muscle and bone density. They’re inexpensive, easy to store, and incredibly versatile.

You can do bicep curls, shoulder walks, leg extensions, chest presses, and other movements – all while catching up on your favourite show! Here is a visual guide on resistance band exercises. 

5. Take On A New Hobby

Mental fitness is just as important as physical fitness. From reading to mastering a new language or learning how to paint, there are endless amounts of activities that provide mental stimulation, entertainment, and engagement.

Always wanted to learn Japanese but never found the time? Want to cook your way through Julia Child’s recipes? Want to learn more about your family history with genealogy research? 

There are countless resources available that can help you finally dive into the activity you can’t stop thinking about. Find courses and videos online or check out countless how-to books from your local library, and you’ll be well on your way to finding joy with a fun new hobby!

Winter months can be tough for many people, regardless of age. It’s important to stay active and do something every day that improves your mental and physical health. Discover what sparks joy and motivates you, and do that!

Active Aging

Expand Your Horizons with These 8 Indoor Activities

Cold winter months can feel endless, especially when your favourite outdoor activities are put on hold. While you wait for warmer days, consider focusing your attention indoors with a new, creative outlet.

Challenging yourself to learn something new or engage with cultural creations is an excellent way to keep active as you age. These simple activities will keep your mind engaged—all from the cozy comfort of home. Many are also a great way to connect with new communities and old friends! Take a look at eight great opportunities and choose a few to try this winter.

Start (or Expand!) an Indoor Garden

Cold weather outside doesn’t mean you can’t cultivate a luscious garden inside. If you don’t have much experience with indoor gardening, start with a beginner’s guide to learn the basics— everything from materials needed to types of gardens (food, flowers, etc.). The best part about indoor gardens is their versatility; you can use any size space and make it portable or permanent to fit your individual needs. Plus, the burst of greenery and colour will boost your mood during the gray winter months.

Travel the World Through Puzzles

Puzzles are a wonderful indoor activity—you can complete them alone or with friends, all in one session or over time. For a creative twist on traditional puzzles, choose pictures that feature landscapes, buildings, or people from around the world. You’ll be able to glimpse life beyond your four walls while challenging your brain with intricate patterns.

Learn a New Language

A new year is a perfect time to learn a new language! With many platforms available, from free to paid, you can find the program that works best for you. Popular options like DuoLingo and Rosetta Stone offer comprehensive classes designed to take you from zero to fluent in a few short months. For something more casual, try YouTube channels dedicated to learning your target language.  

Participate in a Monthly Art Challenge

If you’d like to get your creative juices flowing this winter, join a virtual art challenge! You can find prompts for daily inspiration in mediums ranging from sketching and journaling to poetry and challenges that explore the senses! Many challenges have online galleries on their websites or social media for participants to share their creations throughout the month.

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Work Your Way Through the Oscars

Something about being warm and cozy inside (while it’s freezing outside) inspires movie marathons. Instead of watching new releases, consider catching up on past Oscar winners. You can choose to focus on Best Picture winners and nominees or branch out into more obscure categories like Achievement in Cinematography or Costume Design for a look at the hidden skills behind blockbuster hits. With so many streaming services available, you can easily find these movies for free or a small rental fee on various platforms. Pop some popcorn and enjoy!

Master a New Cooking Craze

Sometimes our cooking skills need a refresh, especially when new techniques and dishes gain popularity. Use the time indoors to master current trends like making the perfect charcuterie board, fancy hot chocolate bombs, or meals with a new gadget like an air fryer. Invite your friends and family to taste the delicious results!

Whether you’d like to learn a new skill or cozy up with old friends and a classic movie, these activities are sure to keep your creative wheels spinning throughout the winter months.