You probably already know how good exercise is for you. As a caregiver, exercise is vitally important. It can make a great improvement to your mental and physical health. Exercise has been shown to be one of the best stress busters. With so many health benefits of regular exercise, it’s time you start trying it out if you haven’t already! It’s best to be a little cautious when first starting, if it’s been a while since you participated in regular exercise.
Most adults as well as older adults do very well when increasing their physical activity a little at a time. Adding just a few more steps or just a few more minutes of activity daily can really add up by the end of the week.
Precautions to take before starting a regular exercise routine
- Check with your doctor if you are at risk for chronic disease including diabetes or heart disease. If you are obese or smoke, you should probably visit the doctor first and let them know of your plan to start exercising
- There are other reasons to check with your doctor before getting started, including undiagnosed symptoms, severe shortness of breath, significant weight loss, infections, rapid heart rate and any other physical issue that hasn’t been taken care of.
- It’s a good idea to get a physical checkup if you haven’t had one for a while. Speak with your doctor about starting your exercise routine.
What is your current activity level?
Your current activity level will in large part determine how much exercise you can start out with. Your doctor can also give you important advice in this area. Make sure you fill them in with what you’re doing.
Tips for avoiding injury
When you first start making plans to begin a new exercise routine you might get so excited that you want to just jump right in and get things started! Of course, it’s important to start slow to avoid injuring yourself.
Here are some safety tips you can follow:
- Drink plenty of water before, during and after your session of exercising.
- Warm up with some stretching and low-intensity movements at the beginning of each one of the exercise sessions.
- Don’t do strenuous exercise sooner than 2 hours after eating a big meal.
- Your shoes should be high quality, comfortable and have a proper fit for the activity you have chosen. Your clothing should be well-fitting but loose enough to allow for freedom of movement and have no dangling loops that might catch on something.
Exercise can be fun as well as an outlet to greatly reduce stress levels. You can also add a social aspect to it by inviting one of your friends to join the exercise challenge with you.
If you find that you are unable to take proper care of yourself, such as by exercising regularly, because of your responsibility as a caregiver to a loved one, consider hiring home care services to lighten the load. You won’t be an efficient caregiver to your loved one if you aren’t taking care of yourself first.