Easy Ways for Caregivers to Stay ActiveMay 23, 2023
As a caregiver, your time is broken down by the needs of your elderly loved one. Cooking for them, running errands, and keeping up with household chores all take a great deal of your time—and that doesn’t even begin to factor in a full-time job. With all these spinning plates to juggle, finding time to tend to one’s own needs, especially staying physically active, may feel impossible.
Physical activity, however, is crucial to both your mental and physical health. In order to provide your elderly loved one the best care possible, you must prioritize your own health. Thankfully, there are plenty of easy ways for caregivers to stay active that don’t impede on your daily schedule too much.
How much exercise do I really need?
Did you know that many conditions you experience can be solved with exercise? Caregivers who regularly exercise experience higher rates of pain relief, increased stamina, higher levels of happiness, and reduced stress. For a good rule of thumb, it is advised to get 150 minutes of medium-intensity cardio, which comes out to roughly 30 minutes five times a week.
Strength and flexibility training doesn’t have to take place quite as often as cardio, but they are just as important. Your strength training should take place at least two times a week, and flexibility training should occur for roughly ten minutes a day, every day.
What are some easy ways for caregivers to stay active?
One of the biggest deterrents to exercise is having to make time for it. When finding time to get active seems impossible, try incorporating physical activity into your daily tasks and chores.
- Go the extra mile with chores. As you take care of your chores, make them even more physical. Try doing squats while washing your dishes, or stay light on your feet while you vacuum. This additional movement will work up more of a sweat than you might realize.
- Run errands without the car. If you have to run to the store for a few ingredients or pick up a prescription, don’t hop in the car. Hop on your bike or walk to these destinations (assuming they’re at a reasonable distance) to get your blood pumping.
- Take short walks. Even a ten-minute walk around the block can do wonders for your mental and physical health!
- Exercise together. Your elderly loved one needs to stay physically active too, so why not do it together? Whether you go on a walk around the park or follow an exercise video online, you will benefit from the time spent together and the movement.
How can I get exercise when I don’t have the time?
When you look at your daily responsibilities, you may think you don’t have any room to practice a decent exercise regimen. This, however, is likely not true. There are a few key periods of the day when you can open up a window for exercise.
- In the morning. If you’re already the type to wake up early, incorporate about 30 minutes of physical exercise into your morning routine before your elderly loved one rises.
- At night. Most older adults go to bed early, leaving you plenty of time to tend to your own needs. Use this quiet time to get your physical activity in.
- Break up your time. Instead of getting 30 minutes of continuous exercise all at once, break up your exercise into shorter intervals. 10 to 15 minutes here and there will serve you just as well as one long exercise session.
If you need help caring for your senior loved one, call upon the help of an at-home caregiver
Every family caregiver feels overwhelmed from time to time as they care for their family member. Don’t be ashamed of that. Instead, get the help you need. With the assistance of an at-home caregiver, you can tend to your personal needs so you can offer the best support possible.
At Home Care Powered by AUAF, we are proud to offer your elderly loved one the non-medical support they need to remain in the comfort of their home. Over the past 30 years, we’ve supported thousands of seniors and would be glad to offer you that same support. For more information on our services, give us a call at 773-274-9262.
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