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Monday, April 03, 2017

5 Rainy Day Indoor Exercises for Seniors

We all know the saying, “April showers bring May flowers,” right? If you’re stuck indoors on a rainy or overcast day this season, don’t let that keep you from staying active and even exercising. Check out these 5 fun, effective exercise ideas for seniors on a rainy day:

Chair Yoga: Worried that any type of yoga means twisting yourself up like a pretzel? Think again. Chair yoga and gentle yoga are go-to mindful exercises that focus more on relaxation, meditation, gentle stretching, and deep breathing. Perfect for rainy days, yoga can be done indoors without a chair, bracing yourself against a chair, or even sitting down in a chair (good for seniors with mobility issues). Yoga is proven to help relieve back pain, lower high blood pressure, and alleviate feelings of stress.

Livestream instructional yoga videos right to your TV or computer, and practice yoga in the comfort of your own home. Search online at Youtube.com or DoYogaWithMe.com for “senior yoga,” “chair yoga,” “beginners yoga,” or “restorative yoga,” to find helpful, motivational videos that both introduce you to yoga and take you through a beginners routine.

Pedal Exercising: Catching up on your favorite classic movies while it pours outside? What if you could be exercising while you sit and watch? Pedal exercisers are the latest trend in at-home exercise equipment that is especially beneficial for seniors.

Basically a small, portable piece of equipment that mimics a stationary bike, pedal exercisers can be used with the feet to strengthen leg and feet muscles, or with the hands to help build arm muscles and bone density. The best pedal exercisers offer adjustable resistance settings, non-slip rubber pedal grips, and lightweight portability. Shop online or ask at your local pharmacy to find one for yourself.

Hand Hobbies: How is knitting a scarf exercise you ask? Knitting, crocheting, origami, needlepoint and other hobbies that employ fine motor skills are amazing exercise for your dexterity and cognitive facilities, helping you practice hand eye coordination and critical thinking.

Brain Games: Exercising the mind is just as important as physical fitness for seniors. Games, puzzles, and activities that stimulate brain function and neural pathway connections are vital to lowering seniors’ risks for dementia and Alzheimer’s.

If rainy cloud cover is keeping you inside, trying playing brain games for an hour - Chess, Scrabble, and Sudoku are great examples. If you are without the physical games, look online or in an app store to download digital versions to your computer or mobile device.

Walking: Whether it’s the halls of your apartment or living facility, or joining a local mall-walking group, regular, brisk walking is one of the best exercises you can commit to as a senior. Simple, effective and practical for a rainy day, walking indoors helps boost heart and lung health as well as fight bone loss and help you maintain a healthy weight.

Safety Tips

Whether indoors or out, seniors always need to be careful about exercise - it is vitally important to staying healthy both physically and mentally, but these simple reminders make sure you’re getting the most out of your activity as possible:
  • Depending on your own health and mobility, talk to your doctor before pursuing a brand new exercise activity
  • Always wear proper fitting shoes for any type of exercise to prevent trips and falls
  • Warm up before physical exercises with gentle stretching, and drink lots of water
  • Don’t push yourself to pain - exercising might wear you out but you should never hurt yourself
  • Exercising is more fun with friends! Invite a buddy over to join you in staying active
There’s no excuse for being a couch potato on a rainy day - just because you are indoors doesn’t mean you can’t do your body (and brain) good! Whether it’s playing games, pedal exercising, or even crocheting, rainy day activities can surprisingly benefit your health in more ways than you know.

This is a guest blog entry.

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