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Autumn fitness tips for seniors

Looking to keep up with your daily exercise during autumn? It’s so easy to let colder temperatures and shorter days keep you from sticking with your routine fitness, especially when a good book and mug of hot cocoa beckons you to the fireplace; however, a dedicated exercise regimen plays an important role in keeping you healthy and fit.

Don’t miss these essential autumn fitness tips for seniors:

 

Indoor exercises

If getting outside for your usual walk around the park is harder on those cooler, blustery autumn days, rediscover indoor exercises that can still help you stay fit and are lots of fun:

  • Stream free, online yoga or tai chi tutorial videos on YouTube and practice from the comfort of your own living room. Yoga has been adapted for a variety of ability levels so make sure to look for senior yoga, gentle yoga, restorative yoga, or chair yoga videos to start.

  • Try low-impact resistance training with stretchy resistance bands or lightweight dumbbells you can employ in just about any room in your home.

  • Work in some heart-benefiting cardio with a fast-paced Zumba workout or dance session at a local gym or fitness studio.

  • Keep moving throughout your day, especially if more time is spent indoors. Take extra laps up and down your stairs, move your feet on a portable pedal exerciser while you watch TV, sit on a stability ball when you are on your computer, and so forth.

  • Try indoor activities at your gym or senior centre which you haven’t tackled yet – perhaps swimming laps at an indoor pool or riding a stationary bike.

 

Outdoor exercise reminders

If an outdoor excursion like an autumn hike has you bundling up, don’t forget these important reminders:

  • Layer up – the last thing you want to be in autumn is underdressed or overdressed. Underdressed and you freeze, overdressed and you sweat and freeze. Instead, wear multiple, breathable layers of clothing, especially when exercising outdoors so it’s easy to remove some as you warm up.

  • Stay hydrated – without the scalding sun beating down on you like it does in the summer, you might not feel quite so thirsty during your workout. Forgetting to drink water could quickly lead to dehydration, however, so make sure to stay on top of your water intake!

  • Protect your skin – just because it’s cooler outside, doesn’t mean that the sun’s UV rays aren’t hitting you just like they do any other time of year. Make sure to wear sun protection (sunblock, sunglasses, hat, etc.) when venturing outdoors.

  • Monitor weather closely – use free, online websites and apps to monitor up-to-date weather forecasts so you’re not caught off guard by cold fronts and inclement autumn weather.

 

For wheelchair users

If you are an older adult with mobility issues which require you to use an aid like a wheelchair to get around, don’t miss these smart autumn reminders when you head outdoors:

  • Make sure your wheelchair is performing at optimal levels by taking it for a tune-up at a local wheelchair repair service. You don’t want to get stuck out in rainy weather or freezing temperatures with a bad wheel, broken pedal, or worse.

  • Always make sure your motorized wheelchair battery is at full charge before you head out of the house as cold weather can be a drain on batteries and shorten their lifespan in extreme temperatures.

 

Complement your autumn fitness plan with a healthy diet and routine monitoring of health metrics like blood pressure, weight, and blood sugar (especially if you are hypertensive or have diabetes). And don’t forget to talk to your doctor before starting any new workout regimens, especially those you’ll take outside during autumn, as some conditions like asthma, Raynaud’s, heart disease and arthritis can be exacerbated by falling temperatures.