Snowbirds heading south for the winter have a lot to look forward to. The milder weather. The sunshine. Seeing old friends.
And we know they will want to keep up their fitness routines – or take the change of scenery as a chance to start some.
And everyone staying put for the winter might want to refocus their efforts, too, so they’re sure to stay in the fitness groove during the colder months.
It’s not hard to see why countless Americans and Canadians over 50 like to spend these months somewhere warmer. In northern climates, wintertime can mean physical challenges for anyone. Sidewalks are slippery, driving can be dangerous, shoveling snow can be physically challenging. And all of that often makes us want to just stay inside, warm on the couch until spring.
Tips for Snowbirds
To snowbirds, we say, Good for you! It can be a rewarding and pleasant lifestyle at this stage. And snowbirds even tend to have better health than mature people who spend all year in one location, according to a study in the Journals of Gerontology.
Here are some tips to make sure you manage the transition and stay on the healthy track.
- Make plans before you go. If you’re returning somewhere and have a gym there, get in touch and let them know you’re coming back. If not, ask us for a recommendation and call or write them in advance for a tour and information about seasonal specials.
- Set at least one goal. Maybe you want to keep your weight down – or get it down to start with. Maybe you’d like to run a 5K or your first sprint triathlon. Having a goal, and letting people know about it, gives you focus and motivation.
- Stay in touch with us. Your current studio, gym or trainer cares about you and wants to know how you’re doing while away. Some even offer exercise plans, Skype check-ins and online coaching sessions. Ask about snowbird deals.
- Take advantage of what’s new for you in your winter locale. Maybe this is a good time to start walking more outdoors with your spouse or friends. Or to try yoga, Pilates, Nordic walking (also known as “urban poling”) or any number of other fresh activities – or recommit to strength training. Some RV communities in Arizona have Pickleball leagues. It’s an increasingly popular game that combines ping-pong, tennis and badminton.
- Make new friends and renew existing relationships. The social aspect of fitness is one of the most rewarding. And it contributes to success, as well.
Tips If You’re Staying Put
And for those who are remaining where you are, we offer some thoughts to help you stay on track, too.
- Be mindful of the change in daylight. Some people find earlier darkness tends to make them want to stay home more. Being aware of why you’re feeling that way can help keep you moving.
- Enjoy the holidays, but don’t overindulge too, too much. Be mindful of all the opportunities we have in November and December to eat and drink more than we should. Make your priorities, and include moderation and exercise among them.
- Try something different. Talk to us about individual or group training; our classes you might enjoy; and maybe even something outdoors to keep you moving safely in the fresh (if colder) air.