Ever since I was on swim team in junior high, I’ve understood the value of exercise. (That doesn’t mean I’ve always done it… just, I’ve understood the value of it.)
Since I’m not always consistent, I get it that many family caregivers drop their exercise time in order to fit in another care task. How can you change that and put exercise at the top of your list?
I can be very hard on myself for not doing “enough,” but let’s turn that around! Whatever movement you can get into your day is good. Did you ever see the Blue-Cross, Blue-Shield commercial, “Do Dance” that introduced the “Do Groove Guy“? This commercial aired in 2004 in Minnesota to encourage people to get healthy by moving and doing or grooving. It’s a fantastic message: exercise can be as playful and individual as you make it.
These days I mix up my daily power walks and yoga with exercises I learned from a trainer I hired a few years back. I also dance–whenever and to a variety of music. The less time I spend worrying about when I will exercise and just move, the better. All that good oxygen that gets into your brain from movement will help you be move creative in your caregiving. Keep in mind these three tips:
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator
- Get outside. Fresh air and a brisk walk does wonders
- Arm circles—10 forwards and 10 backwards will get your blood flowing
If you can focus on sneaking more movement in during your day instead of pressuring yourself to get “enough” exercise, I know you will be a happier caregiver.