Ever notice how in the case of an airplane emergency, you are always supposed to place the oxygen mask on yourself first and then help those around you?
(If you haven’t, take note now!)
Well, the reasoning behind this is simple: you can’t help others, if you don’t help yourself first.
And this goes for caregiving as well. If you don’t take time to care for your own physical health, you can’t be around to help those you love.
Our physical health matters.
That’s why it’s crucial to take time out of your busy schedule as a caregiver, and give your body the exercise it deserves.
Hitting the Gym
Though its often hard to find time to go to the gym mid-day, setting aside time in the early morning or late night can be a great way to make sure you get the exercise you need.
The more regular you are about going, i.e the more you stick to a schedule, the easier it will become to get yourself to the gym.
So, set aside a specific time to exercise, and make sure you stick with it. You can even let your family and loved senior know that this is your ‘me’ time, and to kindly not disturb you unless there is an emergency.
For some people, going all the way to the gym is too much of a time commitment. And that’s okay. Because, short exercise periods are also extremely effective for getting the action you need. Doing 20 pushups before jumping in the shower, or 10 sit-ups before getting dressed in the morning, or even just a couple jumping jacks while you’re waiting for your coffee to brew- are all quick and manageable ways to get your blood pumping and your joints moving.
Step it Up
In an age of cars and elevators, we often opt for these easy transportation options over using our own two feet to get places. But walking is actually a great source of exercise, and super easy to fit into our already busy schedules.
So, next time you’re a bit early to work, consider: taking the stairs up to your office instead of the elevator. And, if you’ve really got the time, consider biking to work instead of driving. Even though they may sound insufficient, simple acts of exercise like these can really go a long way when it comes to your overall health.
Make it a Date
Seniors also need exercise. So, why not make it a date and find a way to exercise with your loved one. This could mean taking a walk together, going for a swim, or doing some simple stretches. It could also mean setting up your senior with a fun sitting activity, while you work-out on the floor beside them.
When it comes to exercise, it’s always possible to make it inclusive.
So, don’t forget- you can’t help others, if you don’t help yourself first.