Being a family caregiver means that opportunities for downtime are rare. Taking care of an elderly adult that can no longer live independently means that you have a lot of demands placed upon you, from household chores and errands to giving them proper attention.
When caregivers do have some time to themselves, they usually don’t think about taking a run or hitting the gym. However, physical fitness is an important part of staying healthy and balanced especially with the demands of being a family caregiver.
To maintain a healthy lifestyle, caregivers need to incorporate exercise into their weekly routine. When they take the time to exercise, they look and feel better about themselves, they have more energy, and they are healthier. All these factors contribute to the type of family caregiver they are. Instead of feeling tired and unfocused, family caregivers that exercise regularly are energetic and attentive. The importance of exercise for a person’s health and wellness is well-established.
But how can family caregivers squeeze in time to exercise into their already busy week? One of the easiest ways is to incorporate vigorous activity around the house, such as when doing chores. Instead of going listlessly from chore to chore, family caregivers can tackle them with gusto and get the heart rate up. Scrubbing, mopping, vacuuming, dusting, sweeping and more are options for daily activity when there’s no time for other exercise.
Another way that family caregivers can incorporate exercise into their daily routine is to use DVDs or streaming services to do exercises at home. From aerobics and yoga to Zumba and Jazzercise, there are all kinds of guided exercise routines that family caregivers can do while their aging relative is in the next room. If the elderly loved one is able, they can even join in doing a modified routine.
Perhaps the best way to ensure that a family caregiver has enough time to properly exercise is to hire an elderly care provider to come in a few times per week to care for the elderly adult. This gives the family caregiver some time to themselves to do whatever they need. Having a home care provider take over for a while is ideal for family caregivers to focus on their own needs, like errands, social time, and exercising. The home care provider can be scheduled for whenever it’s best for the family caregiver during the week.
Family caregivers devote a lot of time and energy to their aging loved one, yet deserve some time to themselves. When exercise becomes a part of a family caregiver’s week, they will certainly see the benefits as they strengthen the body, manage their weight, boost stamina, and help their body to be healthier. From vigorous chores to a home care provider, family caregivers need to be dedicated and creative in finding time for regular exercise.