You may be like many people who weren't active enough even before they started caregiving. Now, as a caregiver, you need more than ever to fit physical activity into your life. It will go far toward keeping you fit for a job that can be physically and mentally draining.
To do the best for your loved one, you must be in the best possible health yourself.
Here are some tips to help you get moving.
- Start with a one-month goal you know you can reach. Make it easy to succeed. Example: "I'll walk five minutes twice a day at least five days a week for one month."
- Stretch. When done properly, stretching activities increase flexibility. Ease yourself into a stretch, relax, and don't push or bounce. Exhale as you stretch. Inhale while holding the stretch. Close your eyes for deeper relaxation.
- Move during commercials. Every time one comes on TV, get up and move. Lift your legs, walk in place or do a mat exercise. Those commercials really add up!
- Use music while you're doing housework. It will speed up your activity and the time will fly by.
- Take out your frustrations on the lawn! Raking leaves, trimming hedges and gardening will give you some physical activity, relax you and give you a sense of accomplishment.
- Track and log your progress. It will motivate you and highlight your accomplishments. Print our activity tracker to help get you started.
- Yoga gives mind and body fitness. It eases pain, stiffness and other symptoms of chronic illnesses like arthritis. It's low impact and will give you better balance and flexibility, increased strength, better concentration, stress relief, increased energy and an ability to relax more quickly at will.
- Lift weights. Spend a lot of time on the phone? Grab your weights and do some arm repetitions. No weights? Use cans or jars from the pantry.