Five Ways to Stay Active in Winter Months Amidst COVID-19

Published: December 3, 2020

It is not atypical to experience the "winter blues" as cold weather sets in. When temperatures dip below freezing and days are shorter, many residents at Ohio Living communities miss the abundant outdoor activities available throughout their neighborhood during the warmer months of the year.

During the winter months, many of our residents typically move their social activities indoors, often visiting each other, baking and crafting together, or enjoying games and other activities. In these times of physical distancing and taking extra precautions for health safety, many residents may begin to feel lonely and restless this winter.

Here are some ways to combat the winter blues and stay both socially and physically active this season:

1. Inside walking
Even in small spaces, walking is good for you. Ohio Living communities are equipped with exercise facilities and indoor walking paths that allow space to exercise, while maintaining a comfortable distance for socializing. If you are concerned about your safety and prefer to stay home, try marching in place to an audiobook or during commercial breaks while watching your favorite TV show.

2. Exercise and strength training
Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi and stretching can help seniors stay fit at home and can improve balance, flexibility, core strength and overall mobility. Many instructional videos can be found online, and some are even tailored specifically for older adults.

Strength training is also important for seniors — and it doesn’t necessarily involve lifting heavy weights at the gym. Many strength-training exercises for the elderly can be done at home while sitting or lying down. Seniors only need their body weight and a few simple exercises to get started. If desired, they can use everyday household items such as soup cans to add weight for exercises.

3. Join or start a book club
If you like to read, you can actually compliment that feeling of fulfillment by discussing what you have read with others. By fostering a social gathering of like-minded people who meet to socialize and discuss their favorite books, the group will keep each other entertained, as well as sharp. If you or members of your group are concerned about safety, remember that there are plenty of virtual meeting options, including Facebook chat, Google Duo, Facetime, Skype, Zoom and more.

4. Create a club for a cause
Whether in-person or via a virtual call, you and your friends could create a knitting, crocheting or quilting club that could carry a positive outcome. For example, your group could knit hats and scarves to give to local homeless shelters, food banks or hospitals, or crochet blankets for those in need. Learn about how one club at Ohio Living Westminster-Thurber used their sewing skills to create dresses for girls in Africa.

5. Bird watching
Bird watching offers year-round enjoyment, and it does not require a large amount of physical activity or preparation. Cozy up in your favorite chair and observe the birds outside. Many older adults enjoy identifying non-migratory birds, such as robins and chaffinches from the comfort of their home. Want to take bird watching up a notch? Use a camera to practice your photography skills. After a few short days, you may be surprised at the quality of images you are producing.

When you choose to move to an Ohio Living community, you can have these opportunities and more at your fingertips. From fitness classes and recreational facilities, to on-site libraries and large meeting rooms for physically-distanced club gatherings, we offer a multitude of opportunities to stay active, fit and social!