The forecast for winter weather this year in St. Louis is warmer and wetter. Experts at NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) forecast that much of the Midwest can expect a warmer winter, and more precipitation. The forecast is driven by a La Nina weather pattern that will impact our winter climate. (If you’d like to learn more about La Nina, click here.) While it hasn’t snowed heavily in St. Louis the past couple of years, the NOAA prediction hints at a combination of snow, ice and rain coming our way. Until spring rolls around, it’s safe to say we’ll be spending most of December through February indoors.
For people of all ages, staying cooped up in the winter is a recipe for cabin fever. This may be especially true for active seniors, who may feel bored, isolated, or cut off during the colder months. Older adults often feel the weather more intensely, as they may have health problems aggravated by cold and inactivity. One way to ward off feelings of boredom or the winter blues is to have a list of activities ready in case you run out of things to do. Here are some of our favorite fun winter activities for seniors:
1. A fun winter activity for seniors can be taking the plunge in an indoor heated pool. The warmth feels good and you can keep up your fitness with classes such as water walking and water aerobics. Swimming laps can be a soothing way to tune out from the world for a while, and it puts minimal stress on bones and joints.
2. Soaking up the heat in a hot tub or sauna can be soothing to arthritis and achy joints. Ease yourself in slowly to get used to the temperature, which should never be hotter than 104 degrees. Keep plenty of water on hand to drink, as these activities can be surprisingly dehydrating.
3. Work up a sweat in an exercise class. Whether you choose a group class or go one-on-one with a personal trainer — you’ll burn calories, increase your strength and stamina, and boost your mood. If you’d rather exercise alone, set up an area of your home where you can work out. The newest treadmills, stationary bikes, and rowing machines come equipped with TV monitors and internet connectivity, so you can join motivational fitness communities to help you reach your goals.
4. Stretch out during a yoga class to improve your balance and flexibility. You’ll learn breathing techniques that promote calm and control. Yoga with Adriene is a popular online platform offering free classes for beginners all the way to advanced yogis.
5. Playing games can be a fun winter activity for seniors and grandchildren to do together. Tried and true games include chess, checkers and card games like Uno, War or Gin Rummy. It’s a great way to engage in friendly competition and enjoy some quality time.
6. Baking in the kitchen can be another fun winter activity for seniors and family members. If you have a favorite cold-weather recipe everyone loves, this could be a good time to teach a younger family member how to make it. Or make it a family affair, with little kids helping with measuring and mixing, and adult children supervising, setting the table and cleaning up.
7. Are you a crafter? Pick a project that will take you through the winter months, or one that will challenge you to learn new skills. If you’ve not painted or sketched before, see how you do with capturing a winter landscape or indoor still life. Or pick up a pair of knitting needles and some yarn and experiment with simple patterns like a scarf or blanket.
8. Video chatting with family and friends is another fun winter activity for seniors, especially when they’re stuck indoors because of the weather. Apps like Skype, Zoom, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Facetime are free and easy to use. This is an enjoyable way to catch up on family news or what a friend is up to these days, and combats feelings of isolation or loneliness. Set up a regular video chat date so that you have something to look forward to.
If you’re expecting to be isolated and lonely at home when the temperatures drop and nasty weather rolls in, there’s no better time to consider a move to an active senior living community like Friendship Village. Wintertime is truly a wonderful time at both Friendship Village Sunset Hills and Friendship Village Chesterfield, the only Life Care communities in St. Louis.
Our residents don’t need to venture out in bad weather to dine out, work out or “chill out” with their neighbors and friends. Conveniences such as gourmet dining, a fitness center, heated indoor pool, library, and much more are under one roof. Wellness programs and future care enhance health and peace of mind. And a lively calendar of activities for seniors, social events and parties adds sunshine to the dreariest of days. Contact us to schedule a tour – we’ll be happy to show you around!