Cold weather can become harder to endure as we get older. The older we get the less likely it is that we’re out building snowmen and ice castles or sledding down a snowy hill. A slip on the ice is more likely to result in an injury and shoveling snow becomes too taxing. When you live in colder states or Canada the solution to these problems is an easy one for many retirees: seasonal living as snowbirds! There are many health benefits for seasonal living that beg the question: are snowbirds healthier? The short answer is, yes. Here are the ways that seasonal living improves health.
According to a 2010 study, enduring cold weather puts people at a greater risk of heart attack. Older people and those with previous coronary heart disease are more vulnerable to the effects of cold temperatures. Bundling up and cranking up the heat in your home can help but it’s not a long-term solution and it can be costly. Snowbirds live in warmer climates all year round, reducing their risk of weather-related heart issues.
As a snowbird, you escape the harsh climate of winter and that helps you avoid the hardships that come with ice and snow. You won’t have to worry about slips and falls on the ice, sketchy driving conditions, or plowing or shoveling. That alone makes for a healthier and more secure lifestyle.
The snowbird lifestyle also allows for increased recreational activity. For outdoor enthusiasts, it means the opportunity to stay healthier with more physical activity such as golf, tennis, and walking. With beautiful weather comes the ability to get outside and stay active. Warm weather is perfect for swimming and spending the day on the boat or beach. Of course, the health benefits of staying active all year round are tremendous compared to sitting inside during winter weather or, sitting inside due to the hot summers.
Becoming a snowbird brings with it a change of pace. You get to enjoy your favorites all year long and you’ll build relationships with the people you meet in each location. A sense of community and belonging is incredibly important and beneficial for mental health. Plus, a life of leisure provides a slower pace and reduces stress that promotes improved mental and physical health.
Another health benefit of snow-birding is that your homes in both locations are typically smaller or part of an association that will help take care of maintenance. This reduces stress and alleviates some of the strain and pain associated with yard work and home upkeep. You get the benefit of less responsibility without losing the independence and autonomy you get with owning a home. If you’re an owner at Travelers Country Club on the Mississippi, part of your independence includes the right to live in a community where you have some control over its operation.
These are all added health benefits that come with being a snowbird. With less risk from cold weather or extreme heat and the reduced stress, it’s easy to see why snowbirds are healthier.