We all know we need exercise, but if you don’t have indoor equipment, the thought of a walk or bike ride outside in July in South Georgia likely doesn’t sound appealing or even safe. It can be easy to give up and forgo exercise–telling yourself you’d only do it if you had a pool to go swimming in, if you could afford a gym membership, if you had indoor exercise equipment at home, or that you will go for a walk everyday once it cools down. The good news is, you don’t need anything fancy to get your exercise each day, and indoor exercise keeps you out of the heat. Read on for ideas on how you can beat the heat with indoor exercise!
- Indoor walking is a great option for too hot, too cold, or rainy days. Instead of taking a walk in the great outdoors, head to your local mall, museum, or other large indoor space for a brisk 30-minute walk. Even just walking in place or doing laps around your living room while you watch your favorite show is better than nothing!
- Stretching is important to do before or after exercising, but it can also be a good exercise on its own. Stretching can help keep your joints flexible, even as you age, and this can help you prevent falls and remain active and independent. Look up (online or in a book) a few safe stretches for you to do and aim to stretch for at least two 10 minute sessions a week.
- Exercise videos have been around for decades, but now, thanks to the internet, you have thousands at your fingertips! You can even find videos made especially with seniors in mind.
- Balance exercises are great at helping you improve your stability and prevent falls over time. Falls can be devastating for older adults and can lead to a loss of independence in many cases, but balance exercises can help. Try standing on one foot for as long as possible and then switch to the other foot. If balance is a struggle for you, there are seated chair exercises you can do to work on your balance and working your muscles without sacrificing safety. Try to incorporate some balance training at least three days a week.
- Step exercises are a simple exercise that works your legs and keeps your knees limber. It will require some sort of low platform, although you may be able to improvise with a step stool or other low, safe step. You simply step up, around, and down from the elevated platform. You want to make sure your step is at a comfortable height, is sturdy, and provides enough room for your feet. If balance is an issue for you, you can put the step next to a wall to help maintain your balance safely.
- Strength exercises are exercises that work your muscles through resistance training. While you can certainly buy small weights or resistance bands, there are also strength exercises you can do using just your body weight. For example, push ups (or a modified version of push ups), pull ups, crunches, and squats are all strength exercises. Strength or resistance training can help you to prevent age related muscle loss, keep your bones strong, promote mobility and balance, and prevent falls.
At Sowega Council on Aging, we offer a variety of both virtual and in-person indoor exercise classes. Check out our calendar to find one that is right for you!