What are some indoor activities for seniors to stay mentally and physically active?
Are you or your family member wondering what some indoor activities for seniors to stay healthy both mentally and physically during the winter months might be? Getting active and exercise improves our quality of life in every way. It helps us control our weight and decreases the risk of heart disease and stroke. It makes us sleep better, move better, feel better, and live longer.
It’s just as important for seniors as it is for the rest of us—perhaps even more important. But exercising can be hard sometimes, especially in the winter when the weather has us cooped up inside.
Don’t let the cold keep you or your family member from enjoying the benefits of movement or keeping their mind active. Here are some simple indoor activities for seniors you can use even when the weather is miserable.
Play video games
Contrary to what many people might think, playing video games is a great way to stay mentally active. Research has found a link between playing video games and improved memory and cognitive skills, as well as better hand-eye coordination, auditory perception, and decision making.
Plus, it’s just fun.
There are a variety of gaming consoles you can choose from—Xbox, PlayStation, or the Nintendo Switch—and games to suit every taste and preference.
If your loved one hasn’t tried them before, maybe now’s the time. It’s never too late to learn.
Play puzzle games
If video games aren’t your cup of tea, another great option is any type of puzzle game. These types of games make you think, learn, and strategize and are another indoor activity for seniors to stay mentally active.
Today, you can also play all of them online, meaning all you need is a phone or laptop and an internet connection.
- Chess. Sign up for a free account at chess.com and play chess with anyone in the world at your level.
- Scrabble. Most of us have battled it out with a dictionary and some friends before. Several sites allow you to play against a computer online.
- Sudoku. The classic Japanese numbers game of 9s. www.sudoku.com lets you play for free.
- Crossword Puzzles. Crosswords are loved by millions around the world of all ages. Websites such as www.bestcrosswords.com let you play for free.
Of course, if you prefer the analog version of any of these, those are always an option too.
Cooking together is another way to incorporate exercise for seniors into your daily routine. Standing, chopping, mixing, and stirring all help keep the blood flowing. Following a recipe keeps your mind engaged and present.
Cooking also gives you more control over the number of calories, fats, fruits, and vegetables in your diet. You’re more likely to eat better if you’re making it yourself, so it’s a win-win.
You can even incorporate cooking and play by having your loved one show the kids how to make one of their favorite recipes.
Looking for ideas? Here are some tips for weekly meal planning for seniors.
Do some light exercise
Although you can incorporate exercise into a lot of other activities, one of the best ways to help seniors exercise at home is through simple movements at home.
There are a variety of ways you can incorporate indoor workouts into a routine in a safe and easy way.
Yoga is another great type of exercise for older people. It involves holding different poses that stretch and move every part of your body.
Not only does it help you get a workout, but it increases mobility and flexibility which helps decrease the risk of falls and injury. It can be adapted for anyone, no matter how in-shape they are right now.
You can find and follow along with free workouts on apps like Yoga Studio and Daily Yoa, or just search “Yoga workouts for seniors” on Youtube.
Movement doesn’t even have to be part of a system like yoga. Some simple stretching exercises can be enough to get the blood pumping and endorphins flowing.
Here are some of the best stretches for seniors, with a short video tutorial for each stretch.
3. Use an indoor cardio machine
Exercise equipment like a treadmill or stationary bike is another great way to get exercise indoors. Walking on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike is easy on the joints while providing a fantastic cardiovascular workout. You can even do it while watching your favorite TV show.
4. Get an experienced caregiver
Finally, well-trained caregivers can be invaluable in helping your loved one stay physically and mentally fit. If you’re already thinking about hiring a caregiver, ask what they can do to help their clients stay active.
Everyday things you can do
Staying active doesn’t even have to involve specific activities. It can be as easy as making simple changes to things you already do every day.
Here are some ideas.
- Put on some music and bust out the dance moves
- Wash and dry dishes by hand instead of putting them in the dishwasher
- Don’t use an electric can opener
- Hide the remote. Make yourself get up to change the channel.
- Take the stairs everywhere you go
Make staying active a priority by incorporating a little bit of movement into everything you do.
If you need a personalized plan, contact us today!