When the temperatures drop it can be difficult to stay healthy and active. Seniors can be prone to the “winter blues” so it’s important to be aware of habits during the cold months. Here are 5 tips to help seniors stay healthy during the winter months.
Let the Sunshine In
Vitamin D is important to battling the winter blues. Try to get fresh air and natural light every day. Even if it’s just to walk outside to check the mail. If you can, take some time to sit by a window. The value of light and sunshine in helping your energy level and attitude is key!
Keep in Contact
To avoid the feeling of isolation, keep in touch with family and friends during the cold months. Taking time to meet for coffee, take a bundled up walk, or setting aside time for a long phone call with a friend is an excellent way to feel connected. Staying in touch during the winter months can help greatly decrease the sense of isolation.
Move your Body
If you are able, you don’t have to let the cold weather stop you from enjoying your favorite outdoor activities. Be sure to dress in layers and keep tabs on the weather to decide when it’s best to get outside. If you have access to a local mall, walking inside the mall can be a great way to stay warm and get your body moving.
When it’s cold, it can be hard to maintain a healthy diet. Since many produce items may be out of season, you should check your store’s selection of frozen veggies. Eating frozen rather than canned vegetables contains less sodium, which is a healthier choice. Make sure you still take your vitamins including Vitamin C and eat foods rich in zinc such as oysters, fish, poultry and eggs.
Icy sidewalks and roads can make it easy to fall. Falls due to ice are a common occurrence for senior citizens and can sometimes cause major injuries. Make sure to wear shoes with good traction and non-skid soles. Try staying inside until the roads are clear. Make sure when you return indoors that you remove your shoes to avoid slipping on slippery wet shoes.
Wintertime certainly poses challenges for seniors, but with a bit of planning and awareness, you will stay healthy and experience the joys of springtime soon enough.