In winter, as temperatures drop and bad weather compels us to stay indoors, many people find it challenging to stay healthy and active.For seniors, in particular, the “winter blues” can often set in, making a dreary season seem all the more difficult. Take heart! Spring is just around the corner, and we have some helpful tips to elevate your mood and keep your body in good health as you wait out the winter months.
- Do: Eat a healthy diet. Eating a diet packed with nutrition is a great way to support your immune system and keep you healthy. When produce prices rise because certain things are out of season, turn to the frozen section, for nutrient dense frozen vegetables. Winter fruits and vegetables are healthy and delicious, too, so take advantage of the easy availability of foods like pomegranates, cranberries, citrus fruits, grapes, and root vegetables. Make sure to take your vitamins, especially Vitamin C, and eat foods that are rich in zinc and omega-3 fatty acids, like fish, oysters, poultry, and eggs.
- Don’t: Give in to the temptation to curl up on the sofa and overindulge on baked goodies. When outside seems forbidding, it’s easy to want to keep the indoors cozy by baking treats and snuggling on the couch. Unfortunately, sugar can compromise your immune system, making you vulnerable to cold and flu viruses and more. If you don’t want to give up your baking, look for healthy recipes that have lower sugar and incorporate nutritious foods like pumpkin and whole grains. You can also reduce the amount you consume by sharing with friends and neighbors!
- Do: Make the most of sunny days. As long as your doctor gives you the go-ahead, exercising outside when the weather permits is a wonderful idea. Exercise helps to keep your body strong and healthy, and the endorphins it produces can help boost your mood. What’s more, sunshine helps to boost your energy and supplies you with Vitamin D. Even on days when you can’t get outside, it’s a good idea to open your curtains or blinds and let the sun shine in.
- Don’t: Go outside without being properly dressed for the season. The older we get, the more susceptible we are to hypothermia, so it’s more important than ever to dress warmly and keep dry. Dress in layers, so that you can adjust them as needed, and wear a hat and gloves to help your body retain heat. Wear the proper shoes, too, and don’t forget your sunscreen and sunglasses with UV protection.
- Do: Winter-proof your home. It’s smart to check your home before winter hits for any places air could be leaking in or out of the house. Once it’s cold, make sure to keep your thermostat set to at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit, to keep you warm and toasty.
- Don’t: Forget to use common sense about heating your house. Close off parts of your house that aren’t being used, to avoid running up your utility bill heating empty rooms. If you’re concerned about rising utility costs, look for ways to energy use that’s not heat-related, by doing things like running your dishwasher after 9 p.m. If you’re using a portable heater, plug it directly into an outlet instead of using an extension cord, and keep the area around your heater clear of things that could be flammable, like furniture, newspapers, or window treatments.
- Do: Maintain a healthy social life. Keep in touch with your friends and family members during the winter, making plans for coffee, lunch, a walk, or just a long phone call. If you know someone who is homebound, make a special effort to visit or help run some errands. Take a class, attend a play, or do something else you enjoy, to break up the monotony of long, cold, winter days.
- Don’t: Hunker down and close yourself off from others. When it’s cold outside, it can make staying in a real temptation. There’s nothing wrong with a cozy evening at home, but staying connected to other people is important, especially during the winter months when it’s easy to get lonely and feel down.
For residents of Parkwood Heights, it’s easy to stay comfortable, healthy, active, and socially connected- no matter what the season! We’ve got the perfect location for a relaxed lifestyle, with 122 acres of beautiful grounds and spacious, well-appointed floor plans where seniors can live independently or enjoy support, all while enjoying the closeness of friendly neighbors. Located just minutes from Victor, Fairport, Farmington, and Canandaigua, Parkwood Heights is a great place to enjoy your time with friends and family. Call (315) 986-9100 to learn more about all that we have to offer, or check out our website and reach out if you have any questions.