The Seasonality of Physical Activity

elderly couple walking outside

Seniors’ Activity Levels Change With the Seasons

How to Promote Physical Activity All Year Long

Researchers have conducted many studies to assess the physical activity levels of seniors at different times of the year. It will come as no surprise that in the hot humid summer months and frigid cold winter months in Cleveland, the activity levels of our seniors drop. We can all relate to the weather’s impact on our mood and our desire to exercise. But it is especially important that seniors stay physically active all year long.

The CDC recommends the following activity levels for seniors:

  • 150 minutes (at minimum) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity
  • Muscle-strengthening activity at least 2 days a week

Moderate-intensity aerobic activity is any activity that gets a senior’s heart beating faster. This might include walking, gardening, golfing, swimming, or taking an aerobics class. Muscle-strengthening activities make a senior’s muscles work harder than usual. Light weight-bearing activities and stretching are great options for building muscle.

How can seniors in Cleveland stay motivated to exercise year-round, despite the heat of our summers and the rough winter months?

  • Find an exercise partner or group. Perhaps a senior can join with a neighbor, friend, or family member several times a week. Seniors living in our McGregor community have built-in companionship for physical activity, whether it is group aerobics classes or daily walking groups around our campus. If the weather is too hot or too cold to go outside, seniors can easily log their steps indoors.
  • Create a workout schedule. When seniors have a visual schedule for exercise as part of their daily routine, they can be more motivated to accomplish the task. Instead of having to decide what to do on any given day, an exercise schedule maps out each day’s activity in advance. Seniors can then plan ahead for the week, such as laying out weather-appropriate clothes.
  • Try something new. The same old workouts can get repetitive or boring, which means you are less likely to follow through. Incorporate new activities and workouts into your routine for extra motivation. Try a new fitness class or online video. Head to the pool or the golf course for a change of pace.

Physical fitness is so important for our seniors and is a major component of the active lifestyle we promote at McGregor. To learn more about our senior care community, please reach out to our team or schedule a tour.


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