Being active is essential for a happy and healthy life. Staying active is important for people of all ages but, if you are like most seniors, you sometimes find it difficult to come up with ways to stay active when bad weather keeps you indoors.
Here are five ways you and other homebound seniors can stay active even when the weather outside is frightful.
Creating a scrapbook or “memory book” can be a rewarding pastime—and put those photo albums you’ve been allowing to collect dust to good use!
Using scrapbooking materials from local craft stores, you can assemble your favorite photographs, letters and mementos into visually appealing memory books you can share with the whole family or keep as personal reminders. These memory books are a great way to document your family or personal history, relive childhood experiences and preserve precious memories.
While many people prefer to create memory books, there is no limit to scrapbooking topics. They don’t even have to be about your own experiences! You can easily create a scrapbook about your favorite singer, movies, or hobby. Scrapbooking requires minimal artistic talent, just enthusiasm and some inexpensive embellishments. Computers and printers make scrapbooking even easier and more fun.
2. Bake treats
Creating home-baked treats in a warm kitchen is a great way to spend a chilly day. Baking produces sweet rewards, and it can also provide quite a workout for the homebound senior. Pull out your recipe book and whip up a batch of old favorites or put your skills to the test and try out some unfamiliar recipes.
As an added bonus, baking treats can also make you incredibly popular among your neighbors.
3. Host a puzzle party
Putting together picture puzzles are a great way to pass the time when bad weather keeps you inside your apartment. Customizable puzzles that allow you to create puzzles from your favorite pictures are especially fun.
A solid social life helps keep you sharp—and improve your sense of wellbeing—so, for maximum pleasure, invite friends and family over for a puzzle party. Ask for assistance in setting up extra tables for guests to play board games or cards, and be sure to serve your freshly baked cookies!
Consult with life enrichment or activities coordinators at your community for ideas on planning your puzzle party and for help in cleaning up afterwards. Many assisted living apartment communities offer beautiful facilities where residents can host parties and special events.
4. Exercise regularly.
Maintain a regular exercise program that includes stretching, strengthening and balance activities. Stretching exercises, including yoga, helps you maximize your range of motion to make it easier for you to move around without pain. Strengthening exercises with light free weights reduce your risk for falling and increases your ability to perform other physical activities. Balance exercises also reduce your risk for falling and improve your mobility.
You don’t even need expensive exercise equipment to exercise at home, but do make sure to keep safety in mind. Always consult with a physician before starting or changing an exercise program. To avoid injury, exercise in an area free from furniture. As an additional safety precaution, avoid engaging in strenuous exercise while home alone.
5. Explore activities already offered by your community.
To stay active, you can participate in activities sponsored by the assisted living apartments where you reside and enjoy the amenities already offered there. Aside from the physical and mental health benefits, participating in community-sponsored activities keeps you alert and socially engaged. Many assisted living and retirement communities host special dinners, music events, parties and more to help residents stay active during the winter season.