When the temperature plummets and driving becomes dicey, it’s tempting to stay inside and hibernate until spring. But as we all know from recent experience, social isolation and inactivity can put your health at risk. So to help make this winter more enjoyable, check out our list of fun winter activities for seniors. From birdwatching and Broadway shows to winter walks and yoga, you’re sure to find something to put a smile on your face and a song in your heart.
1. Try Something New
Winter is a great time to change your routine and try something new. Challenging yourself intellectually with something you enjoy helps keep your mind sharp and mood sunny. Any activity that you find interesting will work. Learn to play a musical instrument. Take a class in painting, memoir writing, or flower arranging. Learn to dance the tango. Or master a second language. The Open University and Osher Lifelong Learning Institute offer dozens of online courses. You can also check with your local library for classes and special events that interest you. In Lincolnshire, Vernon Area Public Library boasts a full calendar of events, classes and discussions — everything from art workshops and cookie decorating to book talks and volunteer opportunities.
2. Change Up Your Exercise Routine
Winter is a good time to add variety to your fitness program. Try a beginner’s yoga class to improve strength, flexibility and balance. Another way to improve balance and strength is dancing. In addition to being a fun winter activity for seniors, learning a new dance step can improve cognitive health. If you like to walk but it’s too cold outside, walk indoors at your local shopping mall. Many malls open early for walkers, and you can treat yourself to a coffee or smoothie when you’ve got your steps in. Of course, few things feel better on a cold winter’s day than immersing yourself in an indoor heated pool. Swimming is easy on your joints, good for your heart and increases flexibility. If swimming laps aren’t your thing, consider joining a water aerobics class to get you in the swim.
3. Walk in the Woods
Winter is a great time to get out in nature. The fresh air and sunshine will energize you and boost your mood. Plus, you burn more calories in cold weather, so it’s good for weight loss. Just be sure to bundle up and choose paths that are safe and scenic. In our neck of the woods, the Ryerson Conservation Area offers walking trails, as well as places to go ice skating and cross-country skiing. You might also be surprised by the variety of birds that don’t mind the cold weather. To learn more about winter birdlife in your area, check out classes and events at your local nature center. Botanical gardens are also good places to experience both outdoor and indoor fun winter activities for seniors. The Chicago Botanic Garden, for example, puts on its popular Lightscape, an after-dark illuminated trail, through January 2.
4. Head for the Salon
We’ve all had more than our share of stress this past year, which is as good an excuse as any to pamper yourself this winter. You could start with a new hairstyle or color treatment to help you look and feel your best. Or opt for a manicure and pedicure to keep your nails healthy and looking fabulous. Many salons also offer spa treatments, such as massages and facials. Whether you want to look your best for a holiday occasion or simply want to treat yourself to some much-deserved self-care, a visit to the salon and spa can turn a gloomy winter’s day into a sunny, rejuvenating experience.
5. Explore Your Community
If there’s a museum or gallery you’ve always wanted to visit, winter is a great time to do it. The crowds are thinner and prices may be discounted in the off-season. In Lincolnshire, we’re fortunate to have the Marriott Theatre on our doorstep, where theatregoers can see Broadway shows, including “Kiss Me, Kate” and “West Side Story,” as well as special holiday events. Of course, Chicago’s Theatre District offers more shows to keep patrons entertained this winter. You may also enjoy a visit to Chicago’s many museums and galleries. The Museum of Science and Industry is the largest science museum in the country and features loads of interactive exhibits. Chicago also boasts its share of cultural heritage museums, including Chinese, African American, Asian, Greek, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Polish, Swedish and Ukranian. So if you’re looking for fun winter activities for seniors, you don’t need to look far. Start by acting like a tourist in your hometown.
More Fun, More Friends, More Fulfillment
There’s always something fun to do at Sedgebrook. From drum fitness and water volleyball to cooking demonstrations and woodworking, our calendar is full of opportunities to pursue your interests. To learn more about how we can help you or a loved one enjoy each day, contact us. We’d love to get to know you better.