The Importance of Exercising as a Caregiver

As Caregivers, it’s extremely important to make sure you put time aside to care for your own needs. One way to take care of yourself – physically, mentally, and emotionally – is to exercise regularly. Even though it may sometimes be hard to find the time, just 20 minutes of exercise a day can help you maintain a healthy weight, reduce stress, and improve your overall health and well-being.

Why Should Caregivers Exercise?

You don’t need to sign up for the next Iron Man competition. Exercising can be as simple as a walk in your neighborhood, riding your bike, or taking a Zumba class. Exercising regularly has extremely positive health benefits, including:

  • Stress reduction
  • Better sleep
  • Improved emotional state
  • Weight loss
  • Increased energy levels
  • Heart disease, stroke, and other disease prevention
  • Improved memory
  • Reduction in the likelihood of injuries
  • Reduction in blood pressure
  • Increased metabolism
  • And much more!

Exercising: How to Get Started

The benefits of regular exercise are real and long lasting. Here are our tips to help you get started:

Think about what activities you enjoy. If you enjoy gardening, playing basketball or lifting weights – than do that and begin to do so more frequently! This will help you slowly ease into being active and get away from a sedentary day-to-day lifestyle.

Give yourself time to adjust. If you haven’t exercised regularly recently or ever, take it slowly but be consistent. Your body needs to adjust to the physical activity. Remember- it’s a not a sprint, but rather a journey into a new life!

Don’t do it alone. Ask family or friends to join you on a long walk, play a game outside, or attend a class with you. This will help to keep you motivated.

Set some realistic goals. Be mindful of your limits and set goals that you can accomplish. This will keep you focused and motivated.

You can find many ways to make small changes in your day-to-day to incorporate exercise. Maybe take the stairs instead of the elevator, bike to work instead of taking the bus, or walk during lunch instead of eating at your desk. Whatever you choose, do what works for you. Now that you know why you should exercise, you need to take the next step. Start small and do 20 minutes tomorrow, you won’t regret it!