As the vibrant seasons of spring and summer unfold, there’s no better time for seniors of a Grande Prairie independent living community to shake up their exercise routine with physical activity that involves getting outside and embracing nature’s beauty. Staying active not only promotes physical well-being, but also enhances mental clarity and overall happiness by releasing feel-good hormones known as endorphins. 

Whether you’re new to regular exercise, or consider yourself a seasoned fitness buff, these uplifting and empowering tips will help you make the most of the warmer months ahead.

1. Start Slow & Gradually Increase

Spring is the perfect season to ease into exercise gently. Begin with activities that suit your current fitness level and gradually increase intensity and duration as you feel more comfortable. Walking is an excellent low-impact exercise to start with, as it allows you to clock in steps at your own pace while enjoying the magnificent outdoors. Whether it’s a stroll through the community garden, a walk around the block, or a trip down a designated walking path within your retirement residence, there are countless ways to make walking part of your regular fitness routine. Health professionals recommend 30 minutes of brisk walking most days of the week to strengthen the heart, improve circulation, and boost energy levels, but if this is a challenge, start with a slower pace and a shorter distance and work your way up from there. 

Tip: For added stability, and a full-body workout, consider giving nordic walking poles a try!

2. Embrace the Outdoors

Take advantage of the sunny days and pleasant temperatures by moving your exercise routine outdoors (preferably during the early morning hours or in the late afternoon, before or after the temperature is at its peak). Let the fresh air and natural surroundings uplift your spirits and offer a welcome change of scenery from indoor workouts. Consider joining outdoor group fitness classes specifically tailored for seniors, such as a gentle yoga practice or tai chi, held in shaded areas. These activities not only promote flexibility and balance but also foster a sense of community and camaraderie among residents. 

3. Stay Hydrated & Protect Your Skin

As temperatures rise, it’s crucial for seniors to stay hydrated while engaging in physical activity. Keep water on hand by bringing a water bottle along and be sure to sip from it regularly, even during times where you don’t feel thirsty. When it comes to workout apparel, opt for lightweight, moisture-wicking clothing that keeps you cool and comfortable, while selecting lighter colours that will limit heat absorption. Don’t forget to lather up before you head outdoors, applying sunscreen with a broad-spectrum SPF of at least 30, and reapplying as necessary throughout the day; this is important to remember, even on cloudy days when UV rays are still present, however not always noticeable.

4. Engage in Strength & Balance Exercises

Maintaining muscle strength and balance is vital for preventing falls and maintaining independence. Incorporate simple strength exercises using resistance bands or light weights to strengthen your arms, legs, and core muscles. Chair exercises are also effective for improving balance and stability. Practice seated leg lifts, arm circles, and gentle stretches to enhance flexibility and range of motion. At an independent living community in Grande Prairie, getting daily exercise is a breeze, with a robust recreational calendar that includes group fitness classes suitable for every fitness level.

5. Explore Water-Based Activities

For those who love the water, consider making a trip to the local community centre to swim laps or try an aqua fitness class. Water-based activities are gentle on the joints and provide resistance for muscle strengthening, which is excellent for seniors who are looking for a low-impact exercise option. Not only can swimming laps improve cardiovascular fitness, but it can also alleviate joint stiffness, an issue that affects many seniors. Scope out the schedule at your local leisure centre to learn about the classes and programs that are available for seniors. 

6. Set Realistic Goals & Celebrate Progress

Setting achievable goals is key to staying motivated and committed to your exercise routine. Start by setting simple, specific objectives, like increasing your daily step count, mastering a new yoga pose, or improving your flexibility. Keep track of your progress in a journal and celebrate milestones along the way. Recognize and reward yourself for your dedication and perseverance—it’s all part of the journey toward better health and well-being.

7. Stay Connected & Have Fun

Exercise is more enjoyable when shared with others. Engage in group activities or buddy up with a friend from your community to stay motivated and hold one another accountable. Joining a walking club, participating in outdoor picnics with light physical games like bocce ball or bean bag toss, or even dancing to music in a common area can make exercise feel like a social event rather than a chore. Celebrate the joy of movement and cherish the friendships you build along the way.

8. Listen to Your Body & Take Rest When Needed

While movement is important, listening to your body’s signals during exercise is a must. If you experience abnormal discomfort or pain, this might be your body’s way of telling you to slow down or take a break. It’s normal to feel a bit fatigued after a workout, but if you feel excessively tired or dizzy, take the time to stop, rest, and regroup. Consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new exercise regimen, especially if you have underlying health conditions or concerns.


The spring and summer seasons are a time when seniors can rejuvenate the body and spirit through enjoyable and beneficial exercise. By following these tips, seniors of a Grande Prairie independent living community can approach fitness with a newfound sense of enthusiasm and confidence. Embrace the journey, stay positive, and savour the special moments of joy and achievement along the way. 

Ready to discover what life is like at Emerald Gardens Retirement Residence? Book a tour to explore the stylish suites, inviting common areas, and elevated amenities that make independent living in Grande Prairie rewarding for seniors. Residents of Emerald Gardens enjoy weekly housekeeping, professional maintenance services, delectable in-house dining, and endless recreational activities.