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Indoor activities you'll love

Senior Wellness | Feb 23, 2016

We are finally approaching springtime, but it could still be a while before we are officially free from any bouts of cold weather. March, especially, is often filled with large weather fluctuations that might make you want to stay inside. You may be feeling a bit cooped up while waiting for the sun to come out, and this late in the season, you may feel like you have already exhausted all of your options for indoor entertainment.

There are so many great indoor activities out there, and in case you have forgotten some, here are some suggestions that will not only keep you entertained but will also help keep you healthy:

1. Take a cooking class
Cooking classes are not only fun and delicious, but they can also offer some important advice on leading a healthy lifestyle. Many senior centers and other organizations offer cooking classes specifically for seniors that can help you learn how to cook the tastiest, most nutritious meals that will help keep you healthy as you age. A search on your preferred search engine can help you find the best options in your area.

2. Visit an indoor garden
According to mental health counselors from South University, spending time in nature can have a positive effect on both physical mental health.

"Yoga can improve focus, concentration, sleep patterns and strength."

While it may not be as good as the great outdoors, an indoor garden may be able to help lift your mood in the midst of these dreary days of winter and early spring.

Two examples of great indoor gardens include Chicago's Garfield Park Conservatory, which even hosts events such as concert series, flower installations and more, and New York City's Ford Foundation Atrium, which is 160 feet tall and includes three levels of garden terraces. Of course, you will want to find one near your home, and again, a quick online search could help you do so.

3. Take a yoga class for seniors
According to the American Senior Fitness Association, those who lead sedentary lifestyles are at increased risk of several physical ailments, including high blood pressure, poor blood circulation, arthritis, osteoporosis and lower back pain. Yoga is one way to decrease your risk for these health problems. Along with several other benefits, studies have shown that yoga can improve focus, concentration, sleep patterns and strength. Furthermore, yoga can reduce stress and lead to an overall improvement in your mood.

"Baths can help improve psoriasis, dry skin and can even help you fall asleep."

The ASFA cautioned it's important to take a yoga class with a professional who understands the health circumstances and physical challenges many seniors face so he or she can tailor the class to meet your needs.

4. Take a bubble bath
A bubble bath not only feels great, but it could also provide some great health benefits. Prevention magazine said baths can help improve psoriasis and dry skin and can even help you fall asleep if you take one before bed. It can also assist in eliminating body aches and help keep you from catching a cold.

The magazine suggested using different additives to reap different benefits. Sage, for example, could help boost your memory. To help with psoriasis, add a few tablespoons of olive or coconut oil. However, Abby Jacobson, emeritus medical board member of the National Psoriasis Foundation said someone with psoriasis should not to spend more than 10 minutes in the tub per day, as doing so could actually lead to dryer skin. For typical dry skin from the winter weather, place some whole oats in a clean, dry sock, wrap a rubber band round the end and drop it into the bath. Then spend 15-20 minutes soaking.

5. Do a puzzle
Jigsaw puzzles are not only a great way to fill an open afternoon or two, but, according to British publication 50 Connect, they can also help keep your short-term memory and hand-eye coordination sharp. Other types of puzzles can exercise the mind as well. For example, word puzzles keep your vocabulary growing, and the more you learn the more you exercise your memory. Puzzles that involve numbers will also help you keep up with your math skills.

You're getting close to being able to enjoy the great outdoors again, but there's no reason to sit around feeling bored while you wait. Get inside and enjoy some of these fun activities!