Simple Winter Wellness Activities for Retirees

by Fit After Fifty
Knitting materials, coffee mug, lavender sprigs, and a notebook and pen on a white table

Being cooped up inside all winter long isn’t fun for anyone, and it can be especially daunting for those who are no longer working. Without the consistent change of scenery that workplaces provide, days at home can be hard to fill, and slipping into a habit of inactivity becomes a danger.

But don’t despair! We’ve compiled some simple and cheerful winter wellness activities to help retirees pass the time and stay active.

Crotchet, Knit, or Quilt

Crocheting, knitting, and quilting are perfect wintertime pastimes, allowing you to cozy up by the fire with a cup of cocoa while listening to music or the radio. Make the activity even more productive by creating gifts for loved ones, or even donations for those in need in your community. You might create a quilt for your grandchild, or knit scarves, hats, and gloves to donate to a hospital or homeless shelter. Either way, you’ll be using your time well and bringing smiles to people’s faces.

Don’t know how to knit? Don’t worry — learning is easy. Follow along with this video tutorial to create a simple hat with a loom and yarn.

Cook or Bake Together

Cooking a mouth-watering meal with your spouse or other loved ones is an excellent way to spend quality time together and put dinner on the table. Plus, following recipes, measuring, and setting timers are effective ways to keep your brain sharp, counteracting memory loss and cognitive decline.

Have more time on your hands? Bake cookies or other holiday treats for your family, friends, or neighbors! They’ll appreciate the gesture, and you’ll have fun honing your baking skills.

If you use a wheelchair, you can still participate in the prepping activities. Read the recipe aloud, add and stir ingredients, and set the timer from a low table to help out.

Get Moving

Sitting all winter is neither fun nor healthy, so try to incorporate activities that get you moving into your daily routine. You have a number of winter-friendly exercise ideas to choose from, including joining a gym or fitness class, swimming in an indoor pool, or following along with videos to work out at home.

Are you spending time with your grandkids this holiday season? Turn playtime into a workout with fun activities that get your heart pumping, such as playing in the snow or going caroling.

Connect With Friends and Family via Video Chat

Retirees tend to spend less time with people than they did when working, and harsh winter weather further contributes to antisocial days indoors. To prevent lonely winter blues, connect with family and friends who live far away through an online video chat platform.

Google+ and Skype accounts are free, and allow you to video chat with anyone via your laptop or computer. FaceTime is another option, as long as both parties have iPhones. Whatever platform you choose, regular video chats can give you something to look forward to on long winter afternoons.

Assemble Blessing Bags

After retiring, many people lose the sense of purpose that accompanies having a job and goals to accomplish. Giving back is a great way to renew that purpose, and blessing bags are a great way to give back.

Blessing bags are sacks of useful items, snacks, and beverages that you can give to homeless people in your community, either at shelters or just around town. Assembling them is easy. Purchase items such as:

  • Warm gloves, socks, and hats
  • Water bottles
  • Snacks such as crackers or granola bars
  • Travel size toiletries, including deodorant, a toothbrush, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, chapstick, and wet wipes
  • One-gallon size plastic bags

Fill the plastic bags with one each of the rest of the items. If you have knitted any warm items or baked any cookies, feel free to include those as well! All that’s left is to hand out your blessing bags to those in need.


Featured image via Unsplash

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