Mature woman exercising at home. Sitting on exercise mat and working stretching exercise , stretching her legs.
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Get moving! Moving your body is one of the easiest ways to boost your mood and strengthen your muscles. Finding activities and exercises that you enjoy doing will not only put an extra skip in your step, but it’ll also give you the motivation to make them part of your everyday routine.

Motivation doesn’t magically appear as you’re laying in bed wrapped up like a cocoon. You need to get yourself up and do something–preferably something you enjoy!

Here are 5 fun indoor activities and exercises perfect for older adults to help build and support your mental and physical well-being and repel those winter blues.

Senior woman on treadmill and caregiver nearby
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  1. Walking

Walking is an easy and effective exercise that’s great for all ages, and you don’t need any equipment besides a good pair of shoes…or if you’re Nancy Sinatra…boots! (“These boots are made for walking…”)

You should aim for about 20 minutes of walking per day. Just enough to increase your heart rate and get that blood pumping!

Don’t have a lot of room indoors? Not a problem! If you have a treadmill, that’s fantastic, but you don’t need one. You can have some fun and map a route around your house!

Use your indoor environment to your advantage, go up and down the stairs, round the couch, bookshelf, bed, have some fun and change it up every day–giving yourself new obstacles to go around.

  1. Grab A Chair

For this exercise, all you need is a chair. Seriously, you’d be surprised at all the exercises you can do with an ordinary chair.

From simple stretching movements like neck and ankle rotations to balancing on one leg to the challenging one leg squat – you’re bound to find something that piques your interest and poses a challenge.

Please make sure you have a sturdy chair on an even, non-slip surface. You can start with heel raises and then progress to stretching out your upper back and, eventually, balancing on one leg. Find something that you’re comfortable with but also that challenges you. In addition, this is a great way to relieve tension in your back and neck and is a wonderful warm-up for other exercises. For more specific instructions on various movements, visit here.

  1. Play Video Games

This one may seem strange, but stick with us! Video games can be an excellent way to get in a good mental and physical workout. The Nintendo Wii comes with a fun assortment of games – tennis, bowling, baseball, and yoga, just to name a few, here is a list of more Wii exercises.

Even if you aren’t familiar with how the Wii works, it simply takes a bit of practice to learn how it all works. Caregivers at senior centers and assisted living facilities have reported that seniors love the Wii, and it can even help improve balance, which reduces the chance of suffering a fall.

You can find a Nintendo Wii at major retailers like Walmart and Amazon, or check your local resale sites. There are also many accessories and different types of remotes that you’ll want to add on.

Video games aren’t just for the kids and grandkids, have some fun and get your game on!

Photo of a physiotherapist helping a senior patient stretch with a stretch band in her office
Photo: Getty Images
  1. Use Resistance Bands

Resistance bands are great for strength exercises and only require your bodyweight to build muscle and bone density. They’re inexpensive, easy to store, and incredibly versatile.

You can do bicep curls, shoulder walks, leg extensions, chest presses, and other movements – all while catching up on your favorite show! Here is a visual guide on resistance band exercises.

  1. Take On A New Hobby

Mental fitness is just as important as physical fitness. From reading to mastering a new language or learning how to paint, there are endless amounts of activities that provide mental stimulation, entertainment, and engagement.

Always wanted to learn Japanese but never found the time? Want to cook your way through Julia Child’s recipes? Want to learn more about your family history with genealogy research?

There are countless resources available that can help you finally dive into the activity you can’t stop thinking about. Find courses and videos online or check-out countless how-to books from your local library, and you’ll be well on your way to finding joy with a fun new hobby!

Winter months can be tough for many people, regardless of age. It’s important to stay active and do something every day that improves your mental and physical health. Discover what sparks joy and motivates you, and do that!

The Active Aging Series is brought to you by our partner, Cambrian Homecare. Cambrian Homecare has been assisting individuals to stay independent in their homes for 25 years. Flexible experience you can trust, when the best place is still at home. Click here to see all of Cambrian’s informative articles.