How to Stay Active During the Pandemic
The Coronavirus pandemic has turned life upside down for just about everyone, but seniors – who are at the highest risk of serious complications from the virus – have faced the most significant restrictions on their activities.
Covid has meant a far more sedentary lifestyle for the older population – and that lack of movement can be dangerous. Movement is essential for reducing the risk of stroke or heart attack and helps with both cognitive issues and the prevention of Type 2 diabetes. Those who suffer from arthritis require movement to limit pain and retain range of motion.
While limiting interactions is an important COVID precaution, many seniors have lost access to their exercise routines which are so vital to continued health. But, there’s hope! Older adults can still stay active while social distancing with just a few simple changes.
Utilizing the Outdoors. Weather permitting of course, outdoor exercise is a great way to stay active and get fresh air. Enjoying the outdoors can be even more fun with a friend and simple activities include:
- Light hiking or trail walks
- Outdoor yoga
Virtual or DVD Workout Videos. This is a great alternative for those who enjoy indoor exercise and prefer to create their own schedule. Popping in a DVD allows you to decide when you want to exercise from the comfort of your living room. There are also thousands of workout videos that can be found online. Some places, like Noble Horizons, offer free exercise classes with live instruction via Zoom and the added benefit of socialization opportunities with other class members. (You can view all our events here) Some great instructional workouts include:
- Bodyweight strength training
- Yoga or chair yoga
- Tai chi
- Therapeutic movement
Creative Ways to Get Moving. Movement doesn’t have to be restricted to exercise classes. There are many alternatives to keep you moving and include:
- Doing light yardwork
Seniors should still be mindful of social distancing and of course consult with a doctor or nurse before doing any new exercises or activities. Make sure to follow these safety tips while getting your daily movement in:
- Always look for trip hazards, wear proper footwear, and exercise or move on flat surfaces.
- Don’t overdo it. Start slow with beginner-level movements and exercises.
- Stay hydrated. Older adults get dehydrated quickly, so drink plenty of water before, during, and after.
- Let someone know where you are. If you plan to go for a walk or do any activities outside, make sure someone knows where you are in case of a fall or injury. Keep your cellphone with you if possible.
Staying active during the pandemic is not only important but is achievable with a little creativity and a sense of fun.