One of the first things that we stop doing when we have more responsibilities in our lives is staying physically active, moving, and focusing on our health. As caregivers, this can be a problem since taking care of ourselves keeps us in a mental and physical state to be better at supporting others. So, when you find yourself running out of time during the day, how do you keep exercising and stay physically active? Keep reading to find out more.
Creating New Goals
One of the hardest parts of staying physically active as a caregiver is creating a new habit, or getting back into a habit that you’ve let slip. So, that means the first step to getting more exercise is to create a goal, and be successful into turning that activity into a new habit that you can keep.
First, we need to set an attainable goal. Do you have 10 minutes a day to dedicate to physical activity? How about 15 or 20 minutes? Set a goal that you can achieve. An example might be “staying active for 10 minutes at least 3 days a week.” Don’t forget that goals can be adjusted, so once you achieve the first goal, you can add to it, change it, adjust it, and do more as time goes on.
Track and Log Progress
Once you set your goal, find a way to track and log your progress. Whether you add a gold star to the calendar on days you achieve your goal, or you track it through an app on your phone, it is important to recognize when you’ve accomplished your goal for the day, week, or even month. Tracking your progress allows you to celebrate when you’ve achieved your goal. Celebrating has been proven to trigger the part of your brain that encourages you to keep celebrating, which encourages you to keep hitting your goal!
Tips and Tricks to “Sneak” in the Exercise
Another reason we often cut exercise and physical activity out of our daily routine is because we think that we need to “take time” to do it. Instead, you can exercise during your normal routine. As a matter of fact, when you tie a new habit to an existing habit, it is often more successful! Here are some tips and tricks to “sneak” in the exercise during your normal day:
- Stretch – If you’re strapped for time, try stretching for a couple of minutes every time you move from one room to another. Remember to exhale during the move from one stretch to another, and inhale while you hold the stretch. If you do this for 2 minutes, 5 times a day, then that is 10 minutes of exercise!
- Try Brisk Housework – Vacuuming and carrying laundry is physical activity. If you step up the speed that you are doing your housework then you’re exercising without even realizing it. It won’t hurt your carpet to vacuum a few times a week!
- Take Up Gardening – Yard work totally counts as exercise! Whether you’re raking leaves, trimming hedges, lifting dirt, or digging, you’re staying physically active. This type of physical activity is relaxing, and the fresh air can be very healthy.
- Try Sand – Sand weights that are attached to your ankles or wrists can help if you already spend some time walking during the day. If you find yourself on the phone quite a bit, you can put on your weights, pace, and talk. Doing two things at once can help you accomplish more of your goals!
Don’t forget that sometimes you just need to take a break. Try respite care from a professional, trusted agency, where our caregivers can provide you with a few hours a week, or a few hours a day of time. Having someone come into your home so that you can run important errands, or simply have time to yourself is very helpful.
Don’t forget that at Homewatch CareGivers of Bryan College Station, we’re here to support you with passion and purpose. We can provide a few hours of companionship, temporary post-surgical support, or even 24-hour elder care. The possibilities are endless. Contact us today to learn more about all of the different options there are, and how affordable it can be.