Senior Care: Why Exercise is So Important for Caregivers, written by Stan Lawson of Sequoia Senior Solutions
Everyone agrees that exercise and staying healthy are important. If you happen to have be the primary caregiver for your loved one where you walk or stand all day it is super important to keep fit. While you may think that by being on your feet all day you are are working out and getting fit, this is not always the case. New caregivers can really fall victim to this; and if you are not used to standing or walking long enough, it can really affect your body. You can end up with sore feet and legs and be extremely exhausted.
It is vital and definitely worth the expense to purchase a good pair of quality shoes. This will help alleviate your sore and achy feet. It is also important to wear clothing that allows you to move freely and clothing which breathes. As a caregiver you have a physical job and you don’t want to restrict your movements in any way.
Eating and drinking
Another important item for your health is to eat correctly and this includes staying hydrated. When you become hydrated your muscles are affected as well. For example your knees will lose fluid and you could begin to rub bone on bone. Eventually this could cause walking issues or even lead to you developing arthritis in your joints. Many caregivers develop illnesses because of not taking care of themselves as they take care of loved ones.
It is recommended that you drink at least 1 gallon of water a day if you are on your feet the majority of the time. By doing this you will find that you have more energy to get through the day. You won’t feel exhausted at the end of the day although you will feel a good sense of tiredness.
Stretch and exercise
As a caregiver you may find yourself bathing your loved ones or having to help lift them from their beds into a chair. Again this can be taxing on your body and you can reduce the amount of stress on your body by taking the time to stretch before you start your day. These stretching sessions do not have to be that long, but be sure to stretch out all your large muscle groups. This helps you avoid injuries, another problem caregivers encounter.
While exercise is great for your physical well -being it is also a great stress reliever. When you exercise endorphins are released into your body and this provides you with a renewed sense of well-being. Endorphins make you feel happy.
Research studies have shown that people who are stressed or depressed can really benefit from exercising on a regular basis. It helps to just get up and start moving. Going for a walk in a scenic area can be a great pick me up remedy or try a session of Zumba with your loved one.
It is easy for caregivers to feel a little overwhelmed at times with caring for your elderly loved one. So why not take him or her and go for a nice relaxing walk to your favorite park.
Other relaxing ways to reduce stress include going for a massage, doing yoga and listening to soothing music.
Exercise, eating healthy and staying hydrated are essential to reducing your stress levels as the primary caregiver. Always remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day and eat a healthy lunch. Include fresh fruits, protein and easy to snack on vegetables. This will provide you with an energy boost to get you through the day.
For more great information, please come visit the blog at our Sequoia Senior Solutions website.