Family caregivers frequently suffer from poor health, whether it is chronic illness, obesity, substance abuse or any number of stress-related issues. The chronic stress they face in caring for an aging loved one is often amplified by the fact that family caregivers are often on their own, with little help from others when it comes to caregiving responsibilities. Studies show that regular exercise is one of the best things that adults can do for physical and mental health, but how can family caregivers find the time to do it?
As many Americans use the New Year as motivation to become healthier and happier, family caregivers can also make a promise to themselves to fit more exercise into their daily and weekly routines. Exercise can lead to better circulation, digestion, and sleep. It reduces the risk of many diseases, from diabetes and heart disease to cancer. Regular exercise also promotes weight loss, boosts the immune system, and leads to stronger muscles and bones. Family caregivers quickly learn that exercise is also good for mental health as a stress-buster.
Here are some realistic ways that busy family caregivers can squeeze in some exercise, even if they have full-time caregiving responsibilities:
Keep It All In the Family.
Elderly adults can also benefit from exercise, so family caregivers should consider ways they can both get moving. For example, they may choose to attend a water aerobics class or other age-related fitness course with their aging loved one. Most of these classes feature different levels of engagement so everyone can do it based on ability and stamina. Participating together not only benefits the senior, but the family caregiver as well.
Set Up a Home Fitness Center.
Nowadays, it’s possible for people to get fit without ever leaving the house. Home fitness equipment such as treadmills, rowing machines, and all-in-one weight training machines are affordable, convenient, and effective. Once the family caregiver gets their aging loved one settled down for the day, with a book or television show for example, they can take some time to work out. Other home fitness options include exercise DVDs and streaming services for classes like yoga, Pilates, and aerobics.
Exercise During Scheduled Activities.
Many family caregivers arrange for seniors to attend events a few times per week. Examples include gatherings at the community senior center, visiting another family member, getting their hair styled at the salon, or attending a worship service. If possible, family caregivers can squeeze in some exercise when their aging loved one is busy elsewhere for a few hours at a time.
Hiring Senior Care Providers.
The most effective way for family caregivers to guarantee they have free time to exercise is to hire a senior care provider. Professional and experienced, senior care providers assist elderly adults while their family caregivers are away. They can be scheduled to come as often as needed to look after seniors. With a senior care provider, family caregivers can get as much exercise in as they want.
If you or someone you know needs senior care in Rochester, MN, contact Adara Home Health Care. We provide quality and affordable home care services for many fragile or senior members in the communities we serve. Call us at (888) 660-5772 for more information.