Cold weather can slow down anyone, but as you get older, aches and pains can come to the forefront. Staying active helps you stay healthy and feel better, but it can be hard with the weather in Fort Worth cooling down.
Fortunately, there are options to help you get the recommended 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity exercise each week, even if it's cold outside. Here are several options that will keep you moving.
The first option you can try is establishing an indoor workout plan instead of going out into the elements. For example, if you're feeling sore or don't want to feel chilled outside, you might opt to download a yoga workout and exercise in your home or in a shared space in an assisted living community.
Virtual fitness classes are very popular, and they're easy to log into. Some fitness companies offer unlimited classes for a single monthly fee, while others have you pay per class. If you go onto YouTube and search for workouts, you can usually find free workouts of different types ranging from Pilates to yoga to calisthenics.
Once you decide on the kinds of workouts you want to do, your next step is to schedule them. To get 2.5 hours of exercise in, you can do 30 minutes a day, five days a week. If that's too much for now, consider doing 20 minutes a day every day, which gets you close to 2.5 hours and allows you to start building up to longer workouts.
Lacking the motivation to work out? In your community, there are probably many people who want to start exercising or already do regularly. Consider reaching out to find a workout buddy. A workout buddy is someone who holds you accountable and can do workouts with you.
Working out as a pair is great because you can do some additional types of exercise that would be harder to do alone. For example, you could have someone coach you on kickboxing techniques, or you might work together to do your stretches.
If you're concerned that you might fall or be unbalanced during workouts, now's a good time to look into working with a physical therapist.
A physical therapist can use tools and techniques to diagnose the reason you're having trouble with your balance. They can suggest exercises to help with flexibility, balance and strength.
You don't have to go to a physical therapist regularly, but if you decide it would be helpful, aim for two sessions a week. Physical therapists are experts in helping people move better, and they'll help keep you active as you get older.
If you're planning to go outside for your workouts in the fall or winter, you need to plan for the weather.
Fortunately, the Dallas/Fort Worth area doesn't get extremely cold most of the time. Daily high temperatures in the winter are usually around 61 degrees Fahrenheit, while daily lows rarely go below 40 degrees.
Most of the year, you can expect the weather to remain above freezing, so you won't necessarily need to layer up as much as you would in some colder climates.
That being said, older people do tend to get cold faster, which is why you should be prepared to go out in the right clothing. It's not a bad idea to wear a hat to help hold in heat and gloves to keep your hands warm.
On warmer days, a light jacket over a long-sleeved shirt may be good enough, but on cooler days, consider wearing a heavier coat and scarf. If a scarf will get in the way when you're exercising, opt for a coat or jacket with a high neck, or wear a turtleneck as an undershirt.
For shoes, opt for gym shoes. If you'll be running, look for lightweight running shoes that have good tread in case you come across slick areas. Avoid any shoes that feel slick on the soles or heels, as you could end up falling if you step on a wet or slippery surface.
Finally, let your family or friends know where you're going if you're working out outside. Carry your cell phone or a cellular-enabled smartwatch so you can call someone to pick you up or alert the authorities that you need help. That way, you'll be safer when you're outside and have a lifeline in place.
At Bethesda Gardens Assisted Living and Memory Care, we focus on helping our community get the right exercise and attention. Contact us to learn more about the community events and daily activities currently scheduled.