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March 12, 2019

7 Ways to Stay Physically Active During the Winter Months

Winter is fun during the holiday season, but by the time we get to March, most of us are feeling some serious cabin fever. Between snow, cold and short days, this is the time of year when you’d rather curl up on the couch instead of throwing on your exercise clothes. But this is actually the perfect time of year to gear up so that you’ll be in fine form once spring arrives.

“It’s important to stay physically active all year long, not just when the weather’s nice,” says Lynda Marino, Marketing Director of Canterbury Woods Gates Circle. “Senior adults especially need to keep up an exercise regime, because physical activity is one of the biggest factors in aging well and staying healthy. Fortunately, there are many different activities older adults can enjoy in winter.”

When you’re looking for winter fitness regime, it’s important to choose something that’s enjoyable, easy for you and doesn’t cause a lot of hassle. “If your activities cause a lot of extra work in your day, you’ll be more likely to avoid doing them,” says Marino. “So if you try something and you end up not liking it, try something else. With all the opportunities available, you’re sure to find an activity that’s engaging and enjoyable.”

Benefits of Exercising in the Winter

Obviously, there are benefits to exercising at any time – but here are some facts about winter exercise that may motivate you even more to get out and get moving.

  • You don’t have to deal with the heat and humidity that you would in warmer months. In fact, the brisk air may make you feel more awake, more energized and more invigorated. And by feeling more invigorated, you may be able to work out longer, meaning you’ll burn more calories and get more benefits.
  • Getting outside can help you reach your daily dose of vitamin D, which can be difficult to do otherwise in the less-than-sunny months. Vitamin D helps build your bones but also boosts your mood.
  • Exercise helps to boost your immune system, which is an excellent thing to do during cold and flu season. According to the CDC, just a few minutes of exercise can help prevent infection.

7 Activities to Get Your Blood Moving

Pick up a new winter activity. There are lots of seasonal activities that are both low-impact and enjoyable. Things like snowshoeing, ice skating and even winter hikes are a great way to enjoy the outdoors without having to compromise for the ice and snow.

Opt for fun indoors. When was the last time you hit the roller rink or the bowling alley? These fun throwbacks can make for a great evening out or a fun afternoon spent with the grandkids or friends.

Walk it out. Going for a stroll around the block is one of the cheapest and easiest activities you can do. However, if you don’t want to deal with outdoor walking, find an indoor walking group that meets at a local shopping mall or school. Not only will you get some good exercise, but you’ll also have instant accountability buddies.

See what your community center offers. Senior centers and community centers offer a wide variety of activities and classes every season. Winter is prime time to join an amateur basketball league, a bowling club, dance class or some other winter-friendly activity. It’s a great way to expand your horizons and make new friends while getting your heart pumping.

Get a gym membership. The obvious solution for many is to get a gym membership and take advantage of the exercise machines, free weights and classes for one monthly fee. Look around your area, see what promotions they might be offering, and try out different ones to find a spot that fits your vibe.

Find little opportunities to get your steps in. Experts say that adults should get at least 10,000 steps per day in order to get the appropriate amount of exercise. Throughout your day, look for opportunities to get a little extra “oomph.” Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park a little further away in a parking lot so you walk that much more. Dance your way through straightening up the house. You’ll be surprised just how active you can be with a little creativity!

Find a favorite YouTube channel. There are zillions (we counted) of different exercise videos and channels out there. Follow a guru you like, or simply go to the library and rent an exercise DVD. You can get all the benefits of a gym class without ever having to leave the comfort of your living room.

Safety Tips

Whether you’re hitting the slopes or sweating to the oldies, be sure to take steps to stay safe while exercising. It’s important to stay warm and dry when you’re out in the cold weather, so layer appropriately. For your base layer, wear something that keeps moisture away from your skin, and cover it with a warm layer of fleece. Finally, throw on a waterproof athletic jacket, and you’ll be good to go. Don’t forget warm socks and appropriate footwear.

Be sure to stay hydrated, too. Carry a water bottle or a thermos with hot tea so you can sip from it while you’re out and about. And don’t push yourself too hard – if you’re feeling miserable and your fingers are turning into ice blocks, go home and warm up. Hypothermia and frostbite are very real dangers for seniors in winter, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

Find Your Fulfillment

Planned as the centerpiece of a unique intergenerational community, Canterbury Woods Gates Circle is a Life Care community like you’ve never seen. Urban, contemporary, and close to everything, this is a community that confirms what you already know: how you live has everything to do with where you live. Canterbury Woods Gates Circle offers the highest quality lifestyle and security. While offering the charm and livability of the Elmwood neighborhood, it also boasts the financial strength, impeccable reputation and reciprocal access to its sister community, Canterbury Woods Williamsville.

A Life Engaged. A Life Inspired.

With the excitement and energy of a revitalized Buffalo at your front door, you can immerse yourself in a diverse world of cultural pursuits and pleasures. Research tells us that connections are what a healthy and fulfilling retirement and a more fulfilling life are all about. At Canterbury Woods Gates Circle, connections have never been easier. The intergenerational neighborhood concept of our campus, with nearby residential apartments and retail spaces, creates a natural centerpiece for socialization and activity, surrounding you with neighbors and new friends of all ages.

Continuum of Care.

As a Life Care Community, Canterbury Woods Communities provide a comfortable environment and first-rate services to support every level of need.Assisted living apartments allow Gates Circle residents to benefit from additional support while maintaining their independent lifestyle. If skilled nursing, rehabilitation or memory care is ever needed, residents can experience the support they require at our sister community in Williamsville.

Contact us today to discover more about Canterbury Woods Gates Circle! (716) 929-5817

1 Gates Circle | Buffalo, NY 14209 | (716) 929-5817

Person-Centered Care, Assisted Living, and CCRC | ©2019 Episcopal Church Home & Affiliates, Inc.