Summertime may seem like a great time for staying active, but the good weather can sometimes actually pose a problem, particularly for seniors.
The sun can make outdoor exercise more challenging. You can beat the heat by participating in a less strenuous exercise routine during the summer months and going outdoors in the early morning and evening. Or you can simply stay indoors!
Here are a few ideas to help you keep active even if it’s scorching. Of course, every person is unique. An activity that’s safe for one senior may be too much for someone else, so always consult with a medical professional before making any major changes to your routine.
- Yoga. It’s agreat indoor activity that helps with strength and flexibility. If you’re just starting, look for a slower type of yoga, like hatha or restorative yoga. Speak with the yoga instructor before class to let her know of any health issues you have. That way she can offer alternatives to poses that may be a problem for you.
- Dancing. Zumba is particularly popular, and you can get moving to a fun Latin beat. Look for classes that are specifically designed for seniors. They may be labeled “Gold” or “Low Impact.” These are designed to go at a slower pace that’s better for your body.
- Cooking. This activity isn’t normally associated with staying active, but it gets you on your feet and moving. Plus, you get to enjoy the final product and can even share it with your loved ones.
- Water Aerobics. Too hot for your normal aerobic exercises? Take a water aerobics class to get the same benefit. Plus, these exercises are particularly well-suited for seniors since they’re low impact.
- Swimming. You don’t need to take a class to get the benefit of water exercise. Just go for a dip and do a few laps.
- Walking. Enjoy the early morning hours by talking a stroll. Keep it interesting by finding different trails in your area.
- Mall Walks. Not up for getting up early? Take a stroll indoors with mall walking. Taking a jaunt up and down the long (air conditioned!) halls is sure to get your heart pumping.
- Tai Chi. This activity has many similarities to yoga but it focuses on staying in motion rather than holding poses. Some studies have said that it’s better than yoga at helping you maintain balance while moving.
- Vitamin D.One of the best ways to stay active is to take care of your health. After all, you’re not going to feel like getting moving if you’re not feeling well. If you spend too much time away from the sun, you may not get enough vitamin Dsince it’snormally absorbed through sunlight. And if you’re experiencing bone pain or muscle weakness, talk to your health care provider to find out if you need a supplement.
- Gardening. Another activity best practiced early or late in the day. You can also help stay cool by planting your garden in a shady area, but be sure to select plants that will thrive under these circumstances.
Staying hydrated is crucial, particularly for seniors. So keep a bottle of water on hand when taking part in any summer activity!
About the author:Juliana Weiss-Roessler runs Weiss-Roessler Writing with her husband Josh. She often covers senior issues, specifically CCRC’s. Her writing has been featured on high-traffic websites, such as Yahoo.com, and in major publications, such as PARADE and People. Along with her husband, Juliana lives in Austin, TX, with their two tiny-but-rambunctious dogs and one tiny-but-rambunctious baby boy.