As we turned the page on the calendar to the third month of the year, we all know that we’re getting closer and closer to the first day of spring.
The days are getting longer, the temperatures are rising above zero and a lot of people are starting to walk with a little bit of a spring in their step. And it’s a good thing because for seniors the dark, cold winter can be a bit long.
With the warmer weather, we all start to feel more upbeat and positive. Spring is a time for renewal. For seniors just enjoying a bit more sunshine, getting some fresh air and being more active goes a long way.
As Daylight Savings approaches, the days will continue to get longer and longer. If you have south facing windows in your home or have a beautiful sun room in your retirement or personal care home, take advantage of the longer days and find a comfortable spot to soak up some rays. We all know that cats are attracted to the smallest beam of sunshine; we should follow their lead and enjoy it as well.
Although it may still feel a little too cool to spend long periods of time outside, every little bit of fresh air will help to boost your spirits. Something as simple as opening a window for a few minutes every day can be refreshing. Or there may even be a wind-free nook in your yard or a lovely courtyard where you could sit comfortably, even for just a moment, to feel the warmth of the sun on your face. After all, we can never get enough vitamin D!
One of the best ways to literally keep that spring in your step is to keep active, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. You just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Yes, it’s as simple as getting in a few extra steps each day. Walking can help you stay healthy and independent. It helps to strengthen muscles, maintains stability and support joints, among many other benefits.
According to Canada’s ParticipACTION website, in order to achieve health benefits, those that are 65 years and older should try to get at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week. The recommendation is for bouts of 10 minutes or more at a moderate to vigorous intensity.
So, now that spring is just around the corner it might be the perfect time to get a bit more physically active. If you’re not quite ready to brave the elements or if there’s still too much ice and snow on the sidewalks, consider getting a jump start on your physical activity by taking advantage of indoor locations where you could go for a stroll. Places like Brandon University’s Healthy Living Centre, Brandon Shoppers Mall, the Town Centre, the Keystone Centre, or any gym are all places where you can get a bit of exercise while staying safe and comfortable.
As we look forward to celebrating St. Patrick’s Day on March 17, perhaps the luck of the Irish will help to bring us out of our seasonal hibernation and move us into a beautiful spring where we can be more active and get more fresh air and sunshine all in an effort to maintain good health!