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Tips for Older Adults to Stay Active this Winter in Virginia Beach

A senior woman exercises in a pool.

Staying active is one of the most important things you can do for your health, but it can be difficult to stay motivated to exercise in the winter. When there’s a chill in the air, you may spend more time sitting on the couch than usual. But the effects of a more sedentary lifestyle can take a toll on your health as you age, which can affect your ability to maintain strength and balance for your everyday activities. That’s why it’s important to find safe ways to stay fit with exercises you can do in any kind of weather.

Staying active as you age helps you stay on your toes, and Atlantic Shores makes it easy to be active and engaged with physical activities, lifelong learning, social events and more. With a fitness center and exercise classes available on campus, you can build your own exercise routine that keeps you active every day, even through the winter months.

Ways to Stay Active in Winter

Atlantic Shores offers convenient access to activities and amenities you’ll enjoy year-round. Residents have everything they need right on campus — there’s no need to drive across town to the gym. And when you have neighbors as your workout buddies, it’s easier to find the motivation to show up to an exercise class or meet a friend at the fitness center.

You’ll never be bored with a full calendar of fitness classes, including core strength, low-impact aerobics, muscle toning, Pilates, stretching, tai chi, TheraBand and yoga. You can make the most of your workout by finding the right balance of low-impact exercise and mixing it up with activities focused on strength building, aerobic exercise, balance and flexibility.

Find Your Inspiration to Get Active

Here are five ideas to help you stay active and have fun this winter:

1. Start or join a walking group. In good weather, choose an outdoor walking route with a group of friends. When it’s cold or wet outside, change it up and walk the halls or get your steps in on a treadmill. Read our blog post for more insights on the benefits of taking a walk.

2. Get in the pool. If you have arthritis or chronic pain, consider swimming or walking in the shallow end of the pool. Water aerobics is a great low-impact exercise for older adults. The buoyancy of the water helps relieve pressure on joints while you exercise.

3. Try strength training. Lifting weights helps you build muscle and maintain stronger bones. Weight lifting isn’t just for body builders — it’s for anyone who wants to maintain muscle mass and stay strong at any age. Get started with light hand weights or resistance bands like TheraBand. Working with a personal trainer or attending a strength-building class can help you learn the proper techniques for lifting weights or using resistance bands.

4. Go dancing. Dancing is a great form of exercise that promotes balance and coordination for older adults. Try ballroom dancing, join a dance aerobics class or learn a country line dance. You don’t need a partner to have fun and get a great workout from dancing.

5. Find your balance. Gentle exercises such as yoga and tai chi can provide wonderful benefits for your mind, body and spirit. Yoga poses are designed to build flexibility, balance and strength, while tai chi involves precise movements to improve agility and promote a relaxed state of mind.

Exercise Has Amazing Benefits for Your Health

If you’re not a fan of high-intensity exercise or monotonous workouts, you’re in good company! And the good news is, the benefits of exercise add up, and even small amounts of exercise can improve your health. Research shows that physical activity helps older adults maintain independence longer. Exercise is also key to preventing and managing chronic disease and provides significant benefits for older adults such as:

  • Supporting brain health and reducing the risk of dementia
  • Reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression
  • Protecting the heart and reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke
  • Improving balance and agility to maintain mobility and reduce the risk of falling
  • Boosting mood with the release of endorphins that produce a sense of well-being

Choose an Active, Healthy Lifestyle

An active lifestyle is the key to living your best life in retirement, and that’s why we emphasize the importance of physical and social activities at Atlantic Shores.

We offer a unique health and wellness program. Our full-time wellness director will help you assess your strength and agility and customize a program to help you meet your goals. You’ll have the opportunity to connect every dimension of your health — physical, social, intellectual, spiritual, emotional, vocational and environmental — with a plan that’s tailored just for you. We invite you to schedule your personal tour at our senior living community in Virginia Beach.