• Roy Whitney

4 Tips to get moving during the holidays

Exercise is much more than just getting or keeping in shape. It also can help with your emotional and mental health. Exercise can help you improve your self-esteem, keep your mind off problems, and give you a sense of control. In elder adults, exercise can help fight loneliness, slow down cognitive decline, help decrease falls and improve hand eye coordination. According to Health Link BC, "Exercise may help prevent depression from coming back and improve symptoms of mild depression".

4 Tips to get moving during the holidays

1. Cleaning up: Having a clean and uncluttered home can help with mental clutter, decrease the chance of falls, help control germs, reduce allergy symptoms from dust and help you get a better night's sleep. While cleaning up is a great way to get moving, it is important to stay within your own limits. Go at your own pace, take breaks and keep hydrated by having some water on hand at all times.

2. Deck the halls: With the current public health orders in British Columbia regarding visitors in our homes, it might be all too easy to use the limits as an excuse for not putting up the tree or decorating our homes. Not so fast! Maintaining a sense of normality can help reduce loneliness and depression. Decorating our home during the holidays can stir up wonderful memories, create a positive environment, offers a great way to get moving and can give you the perfect backdrop for your holiday zoom calls with friends and family.

3. Get outside: From a casual stroll to brisk walking, getting outside for a little exercise offers an opportunity to escape the daily grind, breath in some fresh air, boost moral and soak up a little sunshine. Note: sunshine may be limited in Victoria BC 😉 In fact, Doctor Bonnie Henry has encouraged people to safely enjoy British Columbia's outdoor spaces, saying that going for walks and spending time in parks is important for mental health. Always review and follow the suggestions by your healthcare team and our current provincial health orders for BC prior to heading out. Pay special attention to social distancing, wearing a mask and hand washing. If you are feeling unwell or experiencing flu like symptoms, please stay home.

Pro Tip: Keep within your limits.

4. Virtual Exercise: As we age our body produces fewer immune cells including white blood cells. With fewer immune cells, heading outside may in part go against the advice of your healthcare team or make you more vulnerable to COVID 19 or the flu. Since staying home is one of the best preventative measures against COVID 19, it is important to look at virtual options for getting our daily dose of exercise.

From Youtube videos & mobile applications to websites like eldergym.com & the YMCA there are no shortages of virtual exercise options to choose from.

Pro Tip: Virtual exercise with friends or family for added fun & safety.

Have questions regarding physical activity? Check out Physical Activity Services at HealthLink BC or call 8-1-1 to speak with a qualified exercise professional. Qualified exercise professionals are available Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm Pacific Time. Translation services are available in over 130 languages.

Always consult with a healthcare professional prior to starting any new exercise regime.

Stay calm, keep positive & share some love this holiday season.

Lions Gate Home Care provides home healthcare for seniors and persons with disabilities. From respite care & 24-hour care to homemaking & advanced foot care our care line is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week - 365 days a year. To book your free in-home healthcare assessment

Call (604) 980-6350 or Email pcampbell@lionsgatehc.ca

This blog post was done in partnership with our good friends on Vancouver Island

Pacific Coast Health Services

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