We know exercise is good for us, but did you know you will sleep better with exercise? We’ve been told time and time again that it can help prevent weight gain and keep us healthy. But so many barriers exist to prevent us from exercising, especially if we are caregivers.
Time, Health, & Lack of Energy
As a caregiver, you may have less time than any of your friends, neighbors, coworkers, or family members. Each minute of your day may be carefully scheduled. You may find yourself with piles of bills to pay, people to call, prescriptions to pick up, and extra work at night and on the weekends.
You may have knee, hip, ankle, or other joint or bone conditions that prevent weigh-bearing exercises such as Aerobics or running. You may have other health conditions that prevent you from getting your heart rate up too quickly, or too high.
And, quite frankly, you may not have the energy to exercise. Any “spare time” you discover may best be spent taking a nap, cooking a nutritious meal, or even relaxing on the couch with a book. It seems counter-intuitive to spend precious energy on exercise.
Better Sleep, Better Time-Management
Did you know, however, that even walking one mile a day can help you sleep more soundly, and fall asleep faster? According to one study, regular exercise may promote relaxation and raise core body temperature in ways that are beneficial to initiating and maintaining sleep. We all sleep better with exercise.
A Little at a Time
The American Heart Association recommends that individuals perform moderately-intense exercise for 30 minutes most days of the week. This recommendation is similar to those supported by both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Sports Medicine.
The good thing is you can add up those 30 minutes over the course of one day. As a caregiver, you may never have an entire half hour all at once to devote to exercise. However, you might be able to find 10 minutes after lunch for a walk around the office, or 5 minutes in between TV commercials for some leg lifts. Even vacuuming and cleaning the house has benefits.
You may feel too exhausted each day to even think about exercise, but you have to expend energy to get energy. Staying active and incorporating as much movement into your day as possible will help you stay healthy.
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