How to Stay Active this Winter for 55 and Over Communities in Barnegat NJ
Although the number of people who exercise regularly has been continually increasing over the years, it’s easy to skimp on physical activity during the winter. The number of excuses is vast: you can say you are too busy planning for the holidays, you want to save your energy for Christmas, or plainly because you feel cold and are not in the mood to face a low 30F temperature. However, it’s still important to stay active in the cold months! Luckily, if you are 55 and over, communities in Barnegat NJ have many options for you to stay active during the winter season.
Did you know that people tend to dehydrate during winter? Since we do not feel as thirsty as we ordinarily do during the warmer months, our brain does not trigger the signal for us to drink water. Something similar happens with exercise when hibernation mode kicks into gear. “exercise??” you may think, “I just want to curl up and get cozy!”
Still, most –if not all –health experts recommend everyone stay as active as possible during winter—it doesn’t matter if you’re a teenager or 55 and over. Communities in Barnegat NJ are filled with people who want to maintain health, energy and flexibility. It’s also worth remembering that we tend to overeat during the jolly season. Hence skipping your workout may be more detrimental to your health than you might assume.
What kinds of activities are best suited for Seniors 55 and over?
Living in communities in Barnegat, NJ—such as Barnegat 67—has many advantages. One of them is not having to leave your building to stay healthy, strong, and active. Before deciding what sort of work out will best suit you, you’ll want to consider your options.
You may want to find something that improves one of the following categories:
- balance and coordination (which is often challenged with age)
- flexibility (which enables you to avoid sprains and other injuries)
- endurance (which keeps your circulation system and heart in good shape)
- strength (which, among other things, is the best way to protect your bones).
Now let’s look at some specific exercises you can incorporate into your winter routine:
Going to the Gym & Strength Training
When you think of strength training you might imagine massive muscled body builders. There’s a lot of myths to be debunked around lifting weights. One of them is that it is an activity not suitable for seniors. On the contrary, strength training –especially when extra weight is added with equipment or dumbbells—reduces the symptoms of osteoarthritis, chronic back pain, and even diabetes, by keeping your glucose levels under control.
Strength training is an excellent way to burn fat, raise your metabolism and help you sleep better. Another perk? You can work out in the comfort of the gym, avoiding the cold and crisp winter outside.
Gyms offer a variety of workout options in addition to strength training. If you are 55 and over, communities in Barnegat, NJ often offer a gym among the amenities. Amongst the better equipped, is Planet Fitness, located in Barnegat 67 . It offers 15,000 square feet of workout and relaxation space, including an extensive selection of cardio and strength-building equipment. After a tough workout, you can relax with a well-deserved massage.
Countless benefits have been linked to dancing as a regular activity. In the case of seniors, research shows that those who dance as a physical, daily activity show higher levels of confidence, have better posture, are more flexible, and have higher levels of energy than their peers. One of the best ways to keep your brain, muscles, and bones happy is dancing. Remember, Ballet is not the only way to dance. You can find less challenging –and more upbeat –classes such as Zumba or Hip Hop at your local gym. A quick tip: do not overdo it. Try to enjoy yourself, know your limits, and, in the words of Gloria Estefan, “The rhythm is going to get you.”
Swimming has been proved to be one of the best choices for cardiovascular exercise –even more effective than the treadmill. For anyone particularly interested in keeping his or her joints intact, indoor swimming is the way to go. It also reduces your chances of osteoporosis, it promotes muscle growth, boosts mental health, and improves flexibility.
Furthermore, during cold months, joints tend to get stiff. Getting inside a temperature-controlled pool will help ease your joints. Recent studies also show that seniors who swim are 30% less prone to fall. Remember to start slowly –listen to your body –and ultimately, enjoy the water.
One of the best choices to promote longevity is practicing indoor Yoga. It controls blood pressure, corrects posture, alleviates chronic pain, reduces anxiety, and builds stronger bones. As you may know, Yoga has many variants, and you may want to explore which one is best for your physical health and age. Don’t worry; by merely practicing your “Pranayama” (breathing exercises), you are already helping your body. Especially in Yoga, practitioners tend to overdo it. Reach a bit lower, extend a bit higher, hold it a little longer, but knowing your limitations and being patient will help you advance without hurting yourself.
Quick advice: take a class with an instructor who is familiar with teaching seniors; or, better yet, take a senior-only class. If you have an injury, be sure to let the instructor know so he or she can suggest a variation to a posture that feels uncomfortable. One of the many options close to you is Hanu Yoga.
Walking is perhaps the most natural form of exercise. The only equipment you need is a supportive pair of shoes. For pet owners, walking is a fantastic way to get the dog out too! Barnegat 67 is a super pet-friendly apartment for 55 and over communities in Barnegat, NJ, so if you have a dog, it’s a great environment. You may even find dog walking companions!
Walking dogs is associated with excellent cardiovascular health, lower levels of stress and enhanced feelings of happiness. By performing this low-impact activity, you are also protecting your joints and increasing your endurance.
Nonetheless, during the icy months, neither you nor your furry partner may be in the mood for a walk. There’s another option: walking indoors. You can either step on the treadmill of your closest gym (music is always a great distraction and motivator), go to a community center, or even walk in a mall.
To track your performance (# of steps, burned calories, distance traveled, etc.), you could acquire a wireless tracker –such as a Fitbit watch.
Nordic Walking Poles
The next big trend pervading the fitness world is Nordic Waling Poles. This option better suits those who already love to walk but wish to find a new, exciting way to keep in shape. The advantage Nordic poles have over regular walking is that the poles provide balance and support for even the most unstable walker.
Similar to cross country skiing, the practitioner uses the poles to propel the body forward by planting the stick and motioning forward. In addition to increasing balance and support, it gives your upper body a great workout. Your arms, abs, chest, spine, and entire core get engaged –not to mention your legs, which obviously carry the hardest part of the job. Another perk of the poles is that your weight gets evenly distributed, so the pressure on the knee and ankle joints is released.
Ocean County NJ is full of great wild areas and parks where you could start practicing and using poles for fitness. If you are curious about this trendy activity and would like to learn about some of the best locations to practice it, near Barnegat NJ, check out this article, in which we cover the activity in more detail.
Workout at home
The Internet, in all of its grandiosity, allows us to do many activities and tasks from the comfort –and warmth! –of our own home. Whether you wish to take a piano lesson, watch a documentary, connect with your high school friends or learn trivia, the internet has it all. And of course, it also provides many links to videos for you to work out at home.
Pilates, salsa lessons, kickboxing sessions, conventional aerobics, and more can be found in an instant. Whether you simply search YouTube for videos or use a specific fitness platform such as Fitness Blender, you’ll have plenty of options for classes. The advantage of watching workout videos on the web is that it provides you with a lot of flexibility. Choose whichever class you want, when you want. When you just don’t feel like going out, but still want to accomplish your 30 minutes of physical activity, you can always turn to the web!
If you want to guiltlessly eat during the Holiday Season—and still feel great, energetic and in-shape, then you’ll have to stay active this winter! You have plenty of options to choose from. Remember: always pick something you genuinely enjoy. Consistency is the key to better results.