There is something distinctly enchanting about peeking out the window to find the first snowfall of the season covering the ground. However, as the colder months set in and we see less sun, getting outside and enjoying the outdoors can seem challenging—especially for seniors.
According to James A. Levine, M.D., Ph.D., research is beginning to show that sitting for too long each day can lead to some serious health issues—which means staying active, especially during the wintertime, is crucial for a healthy lifestyle. Encouraging seniors to get out and participate in some fun winter activities will help strengthen their overall health and create even more memories to look back on.
Before braving the snow and other winter conditions, it’s important that seniors are well prepared and properly bundled up. The risk of hypothermia is important to keep in mind while enjoying outdoor activities during winter. Now that everyone has their gloves, hats, and scarves on, let’s get going!
- Do the Shuffle: Slow and steady is key for seniors taking a stroll outdoors during the wintertime. With the right shoes and a cleared pathway, seniors can enjoy observing the frost-covered trees, dustings of snow, and seeing all the snowmen constructed on front lawns. Enjoying a walk every day can also help reduce weight gain and prevent loss of electrical activity in the muscles. It also wouldn’t hurt to throw a few snowballs along the way. It’s important to keep practicing your aim.
- Go for a Ride: During the winter months, it’s common to see a local business offering rides around the neighborhood in a horse-drawn carriage. Grab plenty of blankets and a Thermos full of coffee or hot chocolate and enjoy a ride (or two) with the seniors in your life. Afterwards, it would be a fun idea to ask the driver if it would be okay to pet or even feed the horses. The different sights, sounds, and smells can really invigorate seniors and help get them outside of their typical environments. Keep warm and enjoy the captivating ride together.
- Sharing Is Caring: Seniors often have so much to share with those around them: recipes, stories, and wisdom—to name a few. Volunteering within the community can be very fulfilling and keep seniors active throughout the winter months. A great outdoor activity would be to visit the local animal shelter and walk some friendly dogs or play with the shelter cats. The dogs will most certainly enjoy their time in the snow, too. Additionally, it’d be a fun idea to bring along a youngster and watch as their face lights up as they interact with all the local animals. It would also be an opportunity to share some wisdom and teach young children how to respect and admire dogs properly. It’s an opportunity to be out of the house and give back to others—perfect!
Enjoying the colder months with fun winter activities can create new treasured memories and strengthen relationships. As temperatures drop and snow sticks to the ground, get creative with your outdoor adventures. Don’t forget to bundle up!