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Here Are 20 Things Michigan Seniors Can Do This Winter

Snow and cold and ice might be fun for many Northern Michigan residents, but for some seniors, the days of snowball fights, skiing and ice-skating are past. So what’s there to do during the winter?

With that in mind, we put together a list of ideas on how seniors and those with limited mobility can still exercise, be engaged socially and be creative. And if you have any great ideas to share, please !

Exercise ideas

1. Dance. Whatever your mobility is, even if you’re in a wheelchair, turn on your favorite music and dance. It’s great for the body and spirit, as you’re getting some exercise and you’re having fun. Do it with people or by yourself, just move to the beat! It can be gospel music, jazz, slow-dancing music, heavy metal – whatever you like.

2. Stretch. Simply stretching is very good for your body. It can decrease muscle soreness, overall make you feel a little looser, and aid digestion as well.

3. Swim. Join a health club that has a pool, and check out what classes they have for seniors, or just go to free swim. Swimming is one of the easiest and best exercises for the body, and if you attend a class, it’s a fun way to get moving in the water.

4. Do yoga. Yoga is a low-impact activity that’s great for your health, and it can be done anywhere. You can do it at home while watching a video or attending an online class, or it can be in person at a yoga studio or health club.

5. Walk. If you’re able to walk, there are many ways to do it without treading in snow or ice. If you have a big house, you can do laps around the rooms, or you can set up a treadmill at home. Or find a mall or a large store (Meijer or Walmart, for example) in which to do laps.

Socializing ideas

6. Volunteer at an animal shelter. Many places have need of volunteers to help do basic care things for the animals, and some even want volunteers to simply cuddle with the cats or dogs. There are many other places to volunteer at as well if you can’t find an animal shelter.

7. Play video games or phone games with others. A lot of phone games allow you to interact with the person you’re playing, so in addition to the fun game, you can have fun chatting with your friends or family members. And many video game systems allow this as well – you can talk while you’re playing a game. Doctors say playing video games is great for seniors, so don’t feel guilty about playing “Mario Bros.” – the doc says you should!

8. Read to kids. You can do this one on the computer or in person. Online, you can read a story to your grandkids on Zoom or something similar. In person, you can ask a local school or library if they need reading volunteers (most are more than happy to have volunteers!), and you can spend time with some cute kids.

9. Join a club. There are many clubs available, either in person or online. Join a card-playing club, a book club, a baking club, a crafting club, a dining club, a card-collecting club, a craft-beer club or whatever you’re interested in. You can search for clubs online, or ask a librarian for help.

10. Take advantage of what your church has to offer. Whether you just go to a service once a week or do coffee hour or help with youth groups, your church should have ways for you to get involved. If you’re not a member but are interested in church activities, look up churches in your area and see what people have to say about the church on Facebook or Yelp. Find one that’s known for being welcoming and friendly.

Creative ideas

11. Write your memoirs. Even if you aren’t a good writer, it doesn’t matter. Your family will enjoy hearing stories about your past. Or simply enjoy the trip down memory lane. Document your best moments, or funniest moments or whatever you’d like! If you need help getting started, look up “memoir writing prompts” online.

12. Paint. Like above, it doesn’t have to be good, you just need to have fun. (As Kurt Vonnegut once said, “Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow.”) Watch a Bob Ross video for inspiration, or just do whatever you’d like. And if you find you are good at painting, you could even try selling them at arts and crafts shows.

13. Try a new recipe. It doesn’t have to be complicated, so even if you’re not very mobile, you can still do something easy and fun. No-bake recipes are easy and can be quite delicious.

14. Do puzzles, crosswords, Sudoku and the like. If you have someone to play board games with, that’s another option, but if you’re by yourself for the afternoon or the day, do a jigsaw puzzle. There are many varieties available these days. And/or do puzzles that keep your brain sharp, like crosswords and Sudoku.

15. Get that garden ready. You can plot out your spring garden, set up an area to start some seeds soon, prepare recipes based on what you’ll plant, and more. The winter is the perfect time to dream about and plan for your garden! If you can’t do an outside garden, start an herb garden indoors.

5 bonus fun ideas

16. Go on a sleigh ride. If any place near you is offering sleigh rides, book one, then bundle up and let yourself enjoy the charm of a sleigh ride!

17. Become a poet. Write a funny haiku or a dirty limerick and send it to your friends or family. Encourage them to try to top it.

18. Record a podcast. What do you know a lot about? Use that knowledge to make a podcast or radio show just for your own entertainment.

19. Watch some weather cameras. We have quite a few cool skycams on the , or if you want to watch something specific like a panda, just Google it. There are many fun, free cameras out there.

And lastly, our favorite. 🙂

20. Watch people fall. Not in a mean-spirited way, just in a way that says, “Thankfully I’m too old to be out there skiing or ice-skating, but I sure do enjoy watching the young adults fall on their keisters.” It’s like watching the Three Stooges in real life!