Try something different to stay active this winter
Go mall walking
Trade your walk in the park for a few laps around the local mall. It's warm, ice-free, and there are restrooms and benches if you need to pause. You may meet other walkers and have a chance to socialize.
Sit and move
Break up your evening TV routine by doing musclestrengthening exercises during commercials. Stay seated and do leg lifts, toe taps, press-ups, or arm curls with light weights.
Bowl with friends
Nothing holds you accountable like a workout buddy — unless it's five or six workout buddies. Bowling with a team provides a bit of gentle competition and an opportunity to socialize. You can burn a few calories, too, and the risk of injury is low.
Make a splash
A few Philadelphia city pools, plus pools at the Salvation Army Kroc Center, many YMCAs, and some university facilities stay open all year for lap swimming, aqua aerobics, and more. Good for your body and your mind, swimming can ease joint pain, shore up bone health, and improve your mood. This may be your workout if you have arthritis.
Gentle stretching exercises keep you flexible and help prevent pains in the neck and elsewhere. You typically hold a stretch for 10 to 30 seconds. Check out sample stretches from the National Institutes of Health at go4life.nia.nih.gov/exercises. Follow instructions carefully, and stop if you feel any pain. Always warm up by walking in place for 5 minutes.
Nintendo's Wii U video games have become popular with more active adults because they simulate sports like tennis and golf. You have to move to play. Researchers say that active gaming can count as light-intensity exercise and even help improve balance. If you can't borrow a Wii system from grandkids, look for one at yard sales or discount stores.
Hit the gym
Treadmills, weights, cycles, rowing machines, and other gear let you mix it up and get a complete workout. Certified trainers can help you exercise properly and safely. Going to the gym doesn't mean having to feel like you're exercising surrounded by fitness models. A gym or community center near you probably offers classes for older adults of varying fitness levels. You might even meet a workout buddy.
Always check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program.