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Beat the CHILL, a guide for older individuals to stay active in winter!

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– Written By Matt Schinelli –

Excluding those lucky folks who live in a constant paradise weather zone (South Florida and Southern California), most people are preparing for the winter chill to take hold!

The annual shift toward cooler and even much colder temperatures has an incredible effect on most people's lifestyles. Typically people move less, and have less opportunities to embed movement into their daily routine. Taking a short stroll, or even heading out to the local fitness center / community park and recreational facility becomes much more burdensome. Even if a person lives in a community facility where a fitness center exists "in house", the desire to push through the psychological "chill" is a real barrier.

 
looking out the window
 
As the character John Snow from the HBO show Game of Thrones, so aptly said "Winter is Coming!" For those who follow a different path; "Jack Frost has begun to nip at your nose"!
 
Fear not! We believe that part of the secret to conquering the downside of the cold is to adopt a "GreenHouse" approach. When someone steps into a Greenhouse they instantly feel the warmth but more importantly they suspend part of reality and quickly become enchanted with the habitat surroundings. This phenomenon even occurs during warm seasons, as it has something to do with the texture of being "inside" yet still knowing that you are "outside."
 
Greenhouse with lights
 
Step 1:
Find the part of a room that has the most amount of natural light. Create a safe exercise place for you and your friends close to the windows, making sure to remove all objects/obstructions blocking the full view of the window. Set both a chair, and if possible a Roll-Out Activities® mat beside one another (Try any of Fit and Fun Playscapes mindfulness activities.)
 
Step 2:
Turn on music (softly at a low volume) that inspires the concept of a winter wonderland and embraces the spirit of joy in the winter. Some examples could be the American Standard, "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow" by Sammy Cahn, sung by just about everyone (personal favorite, Frank Sinatra). Ideally, 20 to 25 minutes of music which is about 7-10 songs, or one album should set the perfect time frame for the experience.
 
Step 3:
From either your chair or Roll-Out Activities® mat, begin to shape your body into the first object you notice out the window. Try to become/mirror that object for 10 to 15 seconds. Then move onto another object and repeat the process. Objects can be large or small, natural or man-made, and if you have a yoga rollout mat then you can substitute and alternate "window images" with yoga poses.
 

 

Step 4:
Relax and have fun! You can even use shaving cream in the winter to design some fun holiday or winter elements! The key is to suspend the inside reality with an outside one while being active!

 

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We hope you take the opportunity to try this and even send us some fun ideas of how you put your own twist on it!
 
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