As warmer days fade into colder nights, finding the motivation to stay active during the winter months can be a challenge for anyone. Having a plan and a path to exercise during the year's coldest months can help keep you healthy in any season!
Granted, for those who don’t have regular access to a personal trainer, staying motivated to exercise during winter isn’t always easy. Those who reside in senior living communities, however, have an advantage in the quest for health and fitness. Chris Grabowski, Waltonwood’s Senior Forever Fit Manager, loves keeping seniors out of “winter hibernation mode” and into a mode of energy and happiness.
And, Grabowski said there are tips everyone can use, no matter where they reside, to take steps toward improved fitness - for the mind, body and our spirits!
“Everything I do for residents at Waltonwood Senior Living, I take from the same approach. The goal for each exercise is the same: to feel and improve life through movement. It doesn’t have to be difficult, you just need to have a plan, said Grabowski who has worked for more than 11 years to keep seniors strong and at their optimal fitness.
“Most of us know our summer and fall routine, but when we shift from fall to winter, we get bottled up. So, we need to have a plan of attack against bad habits,” he continued. “For example, at Waltonwood Cherry Hill in Canton, we have a great walking group of really adventurous people who love exploring the community. It keeps them motivated and I love it. People living at home can plan walks with their own loved ones, do it regularly.
” When winter paths are inaccessible due to snow or ice, Grabowski, who earned his Master's degree in exercise science, suggests finding different ways to move. “Find a stationary if you like bikes,” he said. “If you prefer walking, perhaps find a treadmill.”
“Human beings from 9 to 109, literally are the same when it comes down to the biggest roadblock to exercise: they want to stay comfortable. There is so much truth to when you don’t feel comfortable, you want to run away, it’s human nature. So, it starts with me to make people feel comfortable enough to work out. At the Forever Fit environment, we know if we strip away that first barrier everything propels from there.”
Grabowski tells seniors that if they want, just grab a coffee and sit in a Forever Fit exercise class. If they feel they can do a move, stand up and do one. If they want to sit and do an arm moment, that’s great too.
“Nine times out of 10 they do the moves with us.”
People can do that in a class, or at home watching a video.
He knows that movement isn’t new to today’s senior citizens are who are more active than elderly people from 40 years ago. People understand if we don’t have a plan, we get too relaxed doing nothing.
“That’s when we lose strength. We lose mobility. Then, eventually, atrophy can set in. It can become a cyclical event by not having a plan each year when active summer days end.”
From those 80s Jazzercise classes that spurred people of all ages to move their bodies, today’s sophisticated exercises don’t hurt our joints - Grabowski recommends starting by making very small changes such as
- Stationary bicycle
- Resistance bands
- Indoor swimming pools
We want to feel our best so we can go and enjoy every season that’s upon us. Every day can be spectacular!