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How To Best Help Seniors Stay Active During Winter

Staying active can be challenging during the winter months, especially for seniors. The cold temperatures and icy conditions can often deter seniors from maintaining their regular outdoor exercise routines. However, seniors must stay active even during the winter to maintain their health and overall well-being. 

In this guide, we will explore various safe and effective ways for seniors to stay active during the winter months. From indoor workouts to fun-filled activities, we provide an assortment of senior-friendly tips to ensure your loved ones remain fit, healthy, and happy throughout the winter season.

Low-impact Exercises to Help Seniors Stay Active in Winter

As we dive into low-impact exercises, it’s key to remember that these are specifically designed to promote physical activity while minimizing the risk of injury. 

Suitable for individuals of all fitness levels, low-impact exercises are entirely beneficial for older adults as they promote cardiovascular health, improve flexibility and strength, and can be performed indoors, away from harsh winter conditions. 

Let’s explore some of the best low-impact exercises seniors can incorporate into their winter workout regimen.

Indoor Walking

Indoor walking, which is actually one of the simplest and most effective exercises for older adults, offers a multitude of benefits. 

People of all ages can conveniently engage in this activity in a spacious room, a long hallway, or even at a local shopping mall. It’s a versatile exercise that improves cardiovascular fitness, strengthens the lower body muscles, and enhances overall balance. 

By incorporating indoor walking into your routine, you can enjoy a low-impact workout that promotes joint health and boosts mental well-being.

Chair Yoga

Chair yoga is not only an excellent low-impact exercise, but it also offers many benefits. 

By promoting flexibility, reducing stress, and improving core strength, chair yoga provides a holistic approach to physical well-being. Seniors can comfortably perform a series of poses while seated or using the chair for support, making it a safe and adaptable exercise option that caters to varying fitness levels. 

Whether it’s enhancing balance, increasing range of motion, or alleviating joint stiffness, chair yoga offers a gentle yet sufficient way to stay active and maintain overall health and wellness.


Dancing is another fun and engaging activity that can help seniors stay active during the cold winter weather. It promotes cardiovascular fitness, strengthens muscles, improves balance and coordination, and even boosts cognitive function. 

Seniors can easily incorporate dancing into their daily routine by turning on some music and enjoying a few minutes of dancing in the comfort of their own home. Alternatively, seniors can join a local (or virtual) dance class or attend senior-friendly social dances to get moving and stay active. 

Enrolling in a virtual fitness class designed for seniors is also a great option for those with the ability to participate.

Indoor Swimming

Indoor swimming is a great option for seniors to stay physically active when it’s cold outside. Not only does it offer a low-impact, full-body workout, but it also provides various health benefits, like improved cardiovascular fitness and muscle strength. 

With indoor pools readily available at local community centers (few senior living communities have a pool onsite), seniors can easily incorporate swimming into their routine and enjoy the bonus of socializing with others. 

Check out your local gym or recreational center to see if an indoor pool is an option for you or a senior you know, who loves swimming!

Alternate Indoor Activities for Seniors

Some seniors may find certain activities challenging. But you don’t have to worry; plenty of other engaging and beneficial options are available for elderly adults to promote an active lifestyle and beat the winter blues!

Board Games and Puzzles

Board games and puzzles are not only fun but can also stimulate the mind and improve cognitive abilities. They present an excellent opportunity to bond with family members or fellow seniors during social events, and can be enjoyed while sitting comfortably. 

Arts and Crafts Activities

Creativity can sometimes be the best way to stay active. Inspiring activities like painting, knitting, pottery, or scrapbooking can keep seniors engaged for hours, working their fine motor skills and stimulating their imagination. 

Unleashing your creativity can be a truly enriching experience, and for senior adults, they can also be a way to forge new relationships within social events and opportunities. Alternatively, these same arts and craft activities can be enjoyed from the comfort of your own home, if you’re a senior living independently. 

The sky is the limit, so encourage your elderly loved ones to start painting, writing, or whatever their inspiration leads them!


Cooking and baking are practical activities that not only offer a creative outlet but also result in a tasty treat. This is a great way to stay active, and in some instances, it can be done sitting down.

Seniors can follow along with a recipe or create their own. We have a list of 10 easy recipes to get you started!

Indoor Gardening

Indoor gardening allows seniors to enjoy the benefits of nature without stepping outside. 

Caring for plants can often become therapeutic and rewarding, and it’s a gentle activity that doesn’t require a lot of physical exertion.

Reading or Listening to Audiobooks

Reading is a wonderful activity for seniors to engage in while also taking some time to rest their bodies. They can pick up a good book or listen to an audiobook, whichever they prefer. 

There are plenty of audiobooks online for free to explore from. For the avid reader, an online book club might be something to participate in as well.

Encouragement Helps Seniors Stay Active

Motivation is a driving force for activity, and encouragement can truly serve as a powerful source of that motivation. Encouraging seniors to stay active can be approached in various ways. 

Regular Reminders

Reminding seniors about the benefits of their activities can be a good motivator. Whether it’s highlighting the physical advantages like strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular health or mental benefits like improved mood and cognitive function, these positive reinforcements can help motivate seniors to stay active.

Setting Realistic Goals

Setting achievable, realistic goals can also keep seniors motivated. Whether walking a certain number of steps per day, completing a puzzle, or finishing a craft project, having a concrete goal to work towards can encourage continuous activity.


Joining seniors in their activities offers them company and social interaction and reinforces their commitment to staying active. Whether it’s a family member, friend, or caregiver, participating in activities with seniors can provide the encouragement they need to keep going.

Offering Praise and Recognition

Recognizing the efforts and achievements of seniors can be a significant motivator. Celebrating their progress, no matter how small, can give them a sense of accomplishment and encouragement to continue their activities.

Providing Variety

Finally, introducing a variety of activities can prevent boredom and maintain interest. The novelty of new activities can be exciting and encourage seniors to participate more.

Remember, maintaining a positive attitude and providing reassurance can go a long way in encouraging seniors to stay active, even during the winter months.


Keeping seniors engaged, active, and happy during the winter months can indeed be a challenging task. And it goes without saying, regular physical activity is beneficial for seniors in numerous ways, not only in decreasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. 

However, it’s essential to remember that everyone has unique interests, abilities, and needs. Discovering activities that seniors genuinely enjoy and can safely participate in is paramount. 

Family members and caregivers can play an instrumental role in this process by offering support and motivation and encouraging their loved one’s involvement in pursuits that align with their preferences, daily routines, and overall well-being. 

The key is to provide a variety of activities, offering both a physical and mental challenge and, above all, fostering a sense of joy and purpose. By sticking to these tips, we can make sure that seniors stay active and have a great time during the winter; keeping their health, happiness, and love for life thriving!

If you need further assistance or have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at Grannie On The Move. Our trusted senior care advisors are always ready to provide you with the information and help you need. 

Let us support you in making this winter a season of joy, health, and happiness for your loved ones. Contact us today.

About Grannie on the Move

We are professional Senior Care Advisors and Healthcare Professionals that act as the “general contractor” for seniors who can no longer live at home independently with all of the next steps.  Our diverse team includes a nurse, a long-term care administrator, a professional caregiver, and a real estate agent just to name a few. Together we have more than 70 years of experience.

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