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Newton Wellness Talks: Staying active as we age in the fall/winter

As fall approaches, so does cooler weather and less time spent outside with activities that keep us active, such as walks, swimming, gardening etc. Staying active all year round has many health benefits, especially as we age.

As we age, we begin to lose muscle and bone mass, and may develop problems with joints and bones. At some point in your 30s, you start to lose muscle mass and function. The cause is age-related sarcopenia. Physically inactive people can lose as much as 3 percent to 5 percent of their muscle mass each decade after age 30. The best way we can prevent that is by living an active lifestyle and through exercise. Exercise can reduce the risk of bone loss, muscle loss, sarcopenia and osteoporosis.

As summer is leaving us, it leaves us questioning how we can stay active throughout the cold months. Here are 10 ideas to keep you active even during the cooler months.

1. Purchase a gym membership and join free group exercise classes, hire a personal trainer, or just walk the track/treadmill.

2. Buy some free weights you can use in the comfort of your own home. Weight and strength training benefits all ages and reduces the loss of muscle and bone more than just walking alone.

3. During TV commercials get up and do something to keep you moving. The colder months can make it so much more tempting to stay cuddled up on the couch but our bodies need to stay active.

4. Go mall walking

5. Get an at home workout video

6. Bundle up, rake leaves or shovel snow (just be careful of the ice.)

7. Find a gym or fitness center with a pool and take up swimming or join a water aerobics class

8. Go mini golfing or bowling indoors

9. Have an indoor day with the grandkids and play active games like hide n’ go seek, build a fort, make an obstacle course, play interactive games such as the Wii.

10. Don’t forget to exercise the mind as well with varies activities such as baking, puzzles, sudoku, scrabble, etc. Stay social and interactive with friends and family for the health of your mind and soul.

Staying active during the cooler months is not only good for the body but good for the soul as well. Stay warm and keep the body moving.

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