Caregivers get health benefits from small amounts of exercise
Exercise is a great way for caregivers to reduce stress and stay healthy. But it’s challenging (sometimes impossible) to fit regular workouts into your life when you’re caring for an older adult.
To manage stress and improve health, you don’t have to go to a gym or do intense workouts. Small amounts of exercise throughout the day can be just as effective as one longer session.
We’ve rounded up our favorite ways to add extra activity throughout your day – it’ll make a big difference in how you feel!
How to add small amounts of exercise into your day
- Use good posture and stand tall with your shoulders back. It uses more muscles than slouching!
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- When you need to pick something up off the floor, squat (like this) instead of bending over.
- Do squats (like this) or pushups against a counter (like this) while waiting for food to heat or water to boil.
- Put on upbeat music and dance or wiggle while you cook, clean, or tidy the house.
- Stand up and walk around when you’re on the phone.
With your older adult
- If you’re keeping them company as they watch TV or do a crossword, do some squats (like this), lunges (like this), or core exercises (like this).
- Go for a walk together, either outside or at the mall. If they walk very slowly, use that time to up-level your walk by:
- Bringing knees up as high as you can with each step
- Walking backwards – it activates different muscles
While doing errands
- Park further from store entrances, but always keep safety in mind – don’t choose a dark corner of a nearly-empty parking lot.
- Return your shopping cart to the front of the store.
- When you get home, bring only one bag at a time from the car to the house and take multiple trips back and forth.
- If you take the bus, get off one stop early each way.
- Use the restroom that’s furthest from your desk.
- During lunchtime at the office, take a walk around the block or inside the building.
- Do butt squeezes during meetings. Just tighten those muscles, hold for 2 seconds, release, and repeat. Nobody will notice!
- At your desk, try a few of these moves every hour or two.
After sprinkling exercise throughout your days, you should find yourself feeling more energetic, less stressed, and fitter overall.
That may even inspire you to amp up the intensity! When that time comes, try a super efficient 4 minute home workout.
Recommended for you:
— Quick Workouts for Caregivers: Tabata Style Saves Time
— 3 Ways to Manage Caregiver Stress and Prevent Burnout
— Stress Relief for Caregivers: Free App Helps You Relax in 2 Minutes – Calm.com
By DailyCaring Editorial Team