Caregivers Need Exercise Too!

March 15, 2013

Exercise helps caregivers at home.

Caregivers need to get proper exercise.

Caregivers may sometimes feel that their lives are so busy that exercise is the last thing that they can fit into their schedules. However, even busy people need exercise!

Why is exercise important?

As a caregiver, you need to remain as healthy as possible  After all, if you are not operating at your peak, you won’t be able to provide your loved one with the care that he or she requires.

Exercise also helps you to deal with the stress that can come with caring for another person. If you are physically fit you will be in a better frame of mind when issues arise and will be better able to cope with them.

Develop an exercise routine

Don’t be scared by the idea of figuring out a good exercise routine.  You don’t have to go to the gym for two hours every day.  All you need to do is figure out a realistic goal.  If you are not exercising at all right now, working out for ten minutes each day is a great way to start.  If you already put aside 30 minutes twice a week, that’s great; examine your schedule to see if you can fit in a third day.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when developing your routine:

  1. How much time can you realistically commit?  It does no good to plan to exercise half an hour every day if ten or fifteen minutes is all that you can realistically carve out.  If your goals are too ambitious, you may feel frustrated if you cannot reach them.
  2. What do you want to accomplish?  Are you just interested in getting moving and working your body in general, or would you rather focus on something specific, such as strengthening your arms or keeping your cardiovascular system healthy?
  3. What resources do you have?  If you’re thinking about strengthening exercises, you may need weights of some kind.  You can find all sorts of exercise suggestions on the internet, but there are also exercise videos and DVDs, some of which may be available through your library, and exercise shows on television.
  4. Do you need help?  This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need a trainer.  Some people find it easier to exercise with other people.  If you’re such a person, consider joining an aerobics class or asking a friend or relative to exercise with you.

Starting an exercise routine can be challenging, but the results are worth it.  You’ll be healthier, feel better about yourself, and be more capable of providing superior care.

Writer, Craig Butler

Craig Butler has been writing on a wide range of topics for more than fifteen years. As the National Communications Director for the Cooley's Anemia Foundation, Craig regularly writes on a range of health and medical topics. Among the many projects he has written for the Foundation is the Cooley's Anemia Storybook, a collection of original short stories for children with the blood disorder Cooley's Anemia. His freelance work has ranged from reviewing moves and CDs to creating entertainment-related stories about baldness, to creating text for comic strips. Craig looks forward to having a dialogue with you about senior care and issues of concern.

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