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Keep moving this winter

Yolanda leads home-based exercises

Published on 04 January 2022 11:46 AM

With short days and freezing temperatures, it's tempting to be like a dormouse and hibernate until the light returns in Spring.  

Winter can be a difficult time for many of us, with isolation and loneliness more acutely felt over the festive period when everyone else seems to be busy enjoying themselves

But there are things you can do that will help boost your mood and support you to feel better during what can be a challenging time for many older people. Keeping active and looking after yourself and your mental wellbeing can make a big difference to how you cope during the winter months.

For starters, it’s great to get outside. Fresh air can boost your mood and a short walk is the perfect way to get some exercise. Wrap up warmly, take a good look at your surroundings, perhaps noticing the bare trees and the damp earth where flowers will flourish again when the warmth returns. Observing nature and your environment is great for settling an anxious mind.

If you can, arrange to meet a friend for a walk. Knowing someone else is relying on you can get you out of the door when you really can’t be bothered, and you’ll enjoy a good blether as well as being physically active.

However, if the weather takes a turn for the worse, with snow or icy pavements, and you don’t feel confident going outside, that’s the time to try some indoor exercise.

A year ago, Age Scotland launched a health and wellbeing project to encourage older people and their families and carers to keep active in their own homes. Around the House in 80 Days - ATH80 – offers a series of accessible exercises that can be done safely in every room in the house, including Bedroom Boogie and Bathroom Banter.

After 30 days of live videos being posted on Age Scotland’s YouTube channel in November 2020, the playlist is now available for anyone who wants to be more active and have fun doing it. Each session is around 10 minutes and there are options to modify the exercises for anyone with mobility issues.

The intent behind ATH80 when it was launched was to counter the deconditioning many older people were experiencing at the end of a prolonged period of lockdown and shielding. A year on, the Covid restrictions have been lifted but the effect of declining physical fitness caused by not getting out and about and long periods of sitting is still with us.

The aim of ATH80 was to get older people moving again and building strength, balance, flexibility and mobility which are vital to maintain base-level fitness.

So if you’ve had your fill of mince pies and want to do something to make you feel stronger and more active, you can find all the ATH80 videos on the Age Scotland YouTube channel.

By the time you’ve worked your way through the playlist, you will be well on your way to banishing the winter blues and looking forward to the new year.

You can find out more about the project at age.scot/ATH80 and take a look at the other health and wellbeing resources available from Age Scotland here

Printed versions of our health and wellbeing information guides are also available. Call 0333 323 2400 or email info@agescotland.org.uk

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