Between the harsher weather and the winterizing chores, colder temperatures bring unique challenges, especially for seniors. However, with a little extra care and emphasis on wellness, seniors can enjoy the winter. Navigate the season safely by exploring key aspects to enhance your well-being and some practical tips to keep you feeling your best.
Spending more time indoors during colder months decreases your exposure to sunlight, a significant source of Vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to depression, decreased cognitive function, increased cardiovascular disease and joint pain, among other ailments. Maintaining a healthy diet can help prevent vitamin D deficiency when winter’s chill keeps you indoors.
Combat the winter blues by eating foods rich in vitamin D, such as fortified dairy and cereal products, egg yolks and fatty fish like salmon and mackerel. A well-balanced diet including various fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains also provides essential nutrients to contribute to your physical and mental health.
Residents at WindsorMeade enjoy an array of culinary services, with various venues and dietary specialties created by chefs to help them maintain a healthy yet delicious diet. From our elegant Marigold dining room to the relaxed Bistro Café, we offer an unsurpassed selection of options showcasing the season’s freshest ingredients.
While many people associate dehydration with hot summer days when you lose water through sweating, you can also quickly get dehydrated in the winter. People tend to sweat less in the winter, so you might not realize you still need to drink plenty of liquids to replenish lost fluids. Also, you may not feel as thirsty when it's cold outside, but that doesn’t mean you’re hydrated.
To help keep dehydration at bay, make a conscious effort to drink plenty of water throughout the day. If it helps prompt you to drink more, carry a water bottle with you. However, when temperatures drop, many people find drinking cold or even water at room temperature difficult. Instead, sip warm drinks like decaffeinated herbal tea or cider. Also, increase your intake of fruits and vegetables that help you stay hydrated, like celery, cucumbers, or oranges, which contain over 80% water.
It’s vital for seniors to remain active to maintain physical and mental health, but colder weather can make this challenging. When the weather becomes too cold to be outdoors, exercise indoors to stay physically active and keep your heart in shape. Take advantage of WindsorMeade’s Wellness Center and work with our Wellness Coordinator to identify the best plan for you. Our Wellness Center features a pool, a strength training room and an aerobic exercise room with group classes taught by professional, motivating instructors. Our Wellness Coordinator can assist you with learning to use the equipment, fitness assessments and personalized exercise programming to ensure you get the exercise you need safely. Remember, exercise helps seniors with strength and mobility and boosts your mood by releasing those feel-good endorphins.
Winter air is dry, making your skin dry out quickly. Mature skin loses moisture even more easily, causing many types of skin conditions. As your skin loses elasticity and becomes thinner, it’s more prone to drying and cracking, potentially leading to infections. Ward off these and other skin issues by prioritizing skin care when you’re going to be outdoors.
Regularly use a moisturizer on your skin to maintain suppleness. Choose a gentle, fragrance-free product to avoid irritation. Don’t overlook those areas especially prone to dryness, such as your hands, elbows and knees. Cover your exposed skin with warm clothing when venturing outdoors to provide a protective barrier against the cold wind. Choose moisture-wicking materials to prevent trapping a layer of moisture next to your skin that makes you feel even colder.
Embracing winter wellness as a senior is about making small, intentional choices that add up to significant benefits. Enjoy the winter months by nourishing your body with a healthy diet, staying hydrated, engaging in indoor exercise and taking good care of your skin.
Our team members at WindsorMeade believe your health and wellness should be a top priority. Together, let's make each winter a time of thriving and enjoying this season’s unique beauty.
Contact us at 757 941 3615 to schedule a visit and learn more about Independent Living at WindsorMeade, where you can expect a host of amenities and services to make life enjoyable and exciting every day, no matter the season.
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