Ways for Seniors to Stay Active During COVID-19 (and Why You Should)

May 11, 2022
Friendship residents, painting, community service project, living with purpose

Ways for Seniors to Stay Active During COVID-19 (and Why You Should)

If you’re like most seniors, you’re completely OVER staying at home. Yet, at the same time understand the importance of reducing your potential for exposure to COVID-19. That doesn’t make it any easier though – we get it! But, overcoming boredom isn’t the only reason to stay active right now. It also benefits your health. What can you do at home? Check out these tips and learn why staying active is so important for seniors.

Why Seniors Should Stay Active

Let’s start with the why before the how. Have you ever heard of the sitting disease? It’s the result of a sedentary lifestyle - little to no physical activity – and puts seniors specifically at higher risk for conditions such as high blood pressure, stroke, cardiovascular disease, some types of cancers, Type 2 diabetes and cognitive decline. It can even put you at greater risk of depression which is already a concern right now.

To put it into perspective, 31 million adults age 50 or older are inactive according to the CDC. A U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey also found that 67 percent of adults aged 60 and older are sedentary for at least 8.5 hours a day.

How to Stay Active During COVID-19

If it was hard to stay active before the pandemic, you might wonder how a senior could even begin to make changes while cooped up at home. It comes down to being creative and being willing to do things a little differently than before. Some ways you can stay active during COVID-19 include:

Connect – Whether it’s video chatting with friends and family, playing games like Words with Friends with others, or becoming a part of an online community like SENIORSonly.club, SeniorForums.com, Facebook Groups and AARP forums, there are numerous opportunities to connect with people.

Spend Time with Pets – Go for more walks, teach them new tricks and play their favorite games. Tug-of-war anyone? It might be a toss-up who will end up having more fun – them or you!

Meditate – Is now ever the time! Headspace offers guided audio meditations for free that are focused on relieving stress and Calm has a free library of meditations, livestreams and mindfulness tools.

Travel - From the San Diego Zoo to the Georgia Aquarium to Yellowstone National Park, to the Louvre in Paris or the Great Wall of China, the internet can take you anywhere – even Mars!

Enjoy Nature - Garden, read on the porch, chat with neighbors from the yard, have lunch outside on the deck, sit by the window or just keep the windows open.

Experience the Arts – Enjoy live performances through BroadwayHD, the Philadelphia Orchestra or at some of the world’s most famous venues through OperaVision.

Learn – You can take free Ivy League courses from Class Central. TakeLessons can also connect you to teachers either locally or anywhere in the world on a range of subjects. Or, learn a new language with Babble.

Exercise – The YMCA is offering free, on-demand classes and Planet Fitness is live-streaming workouts. Or, if hiking, biking or running is more your thing try the AllTrails app.

Start writing – No, we don’t mean write your first novel (although you certainly could)! Rather you chronicle your life story. You could also journal about your experiences during the pandemic – it is historic! Or, simply start writing letters again, wouldn’t it be lovely to get back to that?

Another Way to Stay Active

If you still feel like when left to your own devices, you’re less likely to do any of these things regularly, there is another way; independent living. Our community is committed to helping residents continue to stay active and live their best lives during this time. For example, we have ample technology resources to help keep you connected as well as small group engagement opportunities like patio bingo, painting on the patio, campus walking groups, exercise classes and our version of the ice cream “truck” delivering sweet treats to individual buildings. Recently we even had a live, outdoor performance by the Roanoke Opera.

You’ll also be able to enjoy our onsite restaurant and bar as well as our pool, gym and salon because these are all located separate from resident living areas and allow us to maintain appropriate social distance. Plus, caring staff, neighbors and friends are always nearby so you’re never alone.

Rest assured we stringently adhere to the most recent local, state and federal guidelines for COVID-19. What’s more, with everything you need right here you can avoid the risks of going out in public while never having to worry about out-of-stock necessities. Not to mention, our 24-hour staffing means we’re able to respond quickly to any potential symptoms or concerns.

For more information on independent living on our campus, please connect with Ken Mowbray, Assistant Director of Independent Living today to schedule a virtual tour. He can be reached via phone at 540.385.8720 or email, kmowbray@friendship.us.  If you'd like Ken to contact you directly, please complete this online request form.

Want additional "boredom busters" and tips as we navigate through this pandemic?  Click here to access our free COVID-19 Guide!

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