Winter Exercise Tips for Seniors

Posted by Senior Solutions Management Group on Dec 30, 2014 12:23:41 PM | 3 minute read

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"Though the weather outside is frightful," exercise can still be delightful. When it's cold and slippery outside, stay safe and take the exercise routine indoors. Regular activity is important to keep joints limber and flexible, maintain good blood flow and preserve strong muscles.  So, even as the winter wind howls outside, follow these winter exercise tips for seniors and stay warm and healthy.

Senior Solutions Management Group, with independent and assisted living communities in Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Louisiana, is sharing some tips for how to exercise during winter. 

Start With A Gentle Warm-Up

Begin with a warm-up period to get ready for more active movement and prevent unnecessary injuries from stiff  joints and muscles. Warm-up sessions require only a few minutes, and will greatly enhance your ability to do other exercises. You shouldn't feel pain; if so, go more slowly and reduce or stop painful motions. Repeat each of these five to ten times.

  • Neck up/down - Look up as high as is comfortable and then down as far as possible.

  • Shoulder circles - Move shoulders up, backwards, down, and forward in a circular-type motion.

  • Forward arm swings - Lift arms straight out in front of you and swing back behind the hips, then as high above your body as is comfortable.

  • Forward leg swings - Hold onto something sturdy and comfortable, such as the back of a chair, and swing one leg forward as if you're kicking a ball; then swing that same leg back as far as you can. Repeat with the other leg and do five to ten times for each leg.

Strength Exercises

Follow these two winter exercise tips for stronger shoulder and leg muscles. Do 10 to 15 reps.

  • Squats - Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder width with toes slightly pointed outward. Place hands on hips or out in front and squat down slowly and then go back up. As you repeat this motion, try to squat a little lower. Maintain good form by looking straight ahead, not at the floor. Squats build strong leg muscles and improve balance.

  • Bent arm raise - Improve shoulder strength by bending elbows to 90 degrees and keep them by your side, with hands meeting in the middle of your body. Raise your hands out, up and away from each other until the arms are horizontal to the ground, keeping the 90 degree bend.

Couch exercises

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Now that you've warmed up properly, try these couch exercises. They improve joint and muscle strength and increase blood flow. These can all be done sitting in a sturdy chair or couch. Do ten total repetitions ("reps") of each exercise.

  • Leg extension - Extend one leg to a straight position, then lower it back down to the ground and extend the other leg. You're strengthening the large muscles on the top of your thighs with this motion.

  • Pillow chest press - Hold a pillow close to your chest, then vigorously push it forward until your elbows are straight out and parallel to the ground. This works your chest, shoulders and arms.

  • Pillow shoulder press - Vigorously press the pillow straight upwards and repeat ten times. You strengthen both the arm and shoulder muscles with this exercise.

  • Ankle circles - You'll do ten circles with each foot, five going one way and then five going the opposite direction. Simple flex the ankle to the right five times, then reverse and flex it to the left five times. Don't overdo it so you feel pain in your ankle joint. This exercise benefits the small muscles of the lower leg which help with walking balance.

Senior Solutions communities are located throughout the southeast United States in Georgia, Tennessee, Louisiana, and South Carolina. We are dedicated to ensuring that our residents are healthy and active, even during winter!

Want to learn more about how we help keep our residents healthy and fit all year round? Contact us today, or browse our Communities page to find and contact the location nearest you!

Topics: Exercise, Health

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