7 Winter Health + Wellness Tips for Seniors
San Diego doesn’t get snowstorms, but we still have a winter. January and February are historically damp, cool months that call for cozy blankets and hot soup.
For many seniors, winter can be a challenging time to stay healthy and active. Try these seven great tips that will maximize your health and wellness this winter, with minimal time and effort!
- Get your flu shot: Adults over 65 are at high risk for experiencing serious health complications due to the flu. Be sure to get your flu shot every year. The vaccine is safe, will not make you sick and can reduce the risk of getting the flu by up to 60 percent. Also be aware of flu symptoms and when to see your doctor.
- Stay active indoors: Physical fitness is important at every stage in life for good health and well-being. During the cooler winter months, you may not feel inclined to walk or hike outside. But there are still several great activities you can do indoors:
- Chair yoga. If your mobility is limited, chair yoga is a wonderful option. It provides the same benefits of traditional yoga – increased circulation, flexibility, muscle tone and respiration – without the tricky poses that could cause injury.
- Stretching. Joints and muscles will quickly get stiff and achy if they are not taken care of properly. Stretching keeps your whole body limber and flexible, making it less prone to pain and damage. Make time for 15-20 minutes of full body stretching every day.
- Light weight lifting. Use light dumbbells to maintain your upper body strength. Do basic strength-building exercises like bicep curls, overhead presses and tricep kickbacks.
- Cook healthy one-pot meals: Cut down on your cooking and cleaning time. Discover the ease and simplicity of healthy one-pot meals for warm, nourishing lunches and dinners throughout the winter. As the name suggests, these recipes use just one pot to cook a nutritious, tasty meal with plenty of leftovers!
- Let the sunshine in: Take advantage of San Diego’s bountiful sunny weather by opening window covers each morning when you get up. Sunlight will warm up your home and your spirits. Seasonal depression and vitamin D deficiency can still occur in mild climates like Southern California. Spend at least 30 a day sitting by a sunny window to feel your best.
- Socialize with loved ones: Though it might be tempting to hunker down under the blankets all winter long, don’t forget the importance of socialization. Spending regular, quality time with friends and family is essential to a good quality of life. It makes you happier, more connected and reduces stress, anxiety and depression.
- Wear layers indoors: As we age, our metabolism slows down. This can lead to poor blood circulation, feeling cold more often. Layering up inside can save on your heating bill and protect your immune system by decreasing the chances that you’ll get sick. Sweaters, thick socks and a warm robe are wardrobe staples that you should have on hand throughout the colder months.
- Prevent slips and falls: In Southern California, when it rains, it often pours. That means slippery dirt, wet leaves and deep puddles can quickly accumulate outside your door. To help prevent slips and falls, be sure to keep all paths, walkways and stairs around your home free from debris and as dry as possible.
Scripps Affiliated Medical Groups has the best resources and advice for seniors’ health and wellness in San Diego.