For many, the very idea of exercise stresses them out. They don’t like exercise or have no time to exercise. A caregiver’s job is very demanding and can take a toll on the emotions very quickly, sending you on an emotional roller-coaster ride daily, thus increasing your stress level. It’s paramount then that while executing your job functions, you make a conscious decision to reduce your stress level as much as possible. This can be achieved through daily activities like exercise, prayer, and meditation. We hear every day that exercise lowers stress, improves our mood and memory, and controls our anxiety level. We should however remember that this holds true even for people who are stressed out by the idea of exercise.
According to research, exercise attacks stress in two ways. First, by raising our heart rate, we can actually reverse damage to the brain caused by stressful events: Excessive stress atrophies the brain, especially in the area responsible for our memory. When we’re stressed, we are more likely to forget. Forgetfulness is unforgivable while caring for children. Caregivers must juggle too many schedules and activities and engage in quick thinking, so memory is crucial. Second, exercise promotes the production of neurohormones like norepinephrine that are associated with improved cognitive function and elevated mood and learning.
Diet, along with exercise, promotes good health, and good health increases longevity of life by keeping health conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and some cancers, at bay.
Find creative ways to exercise. Recognize that exercise need not occur at a gym. You can simply walk at a faster pace while pushing a child in a stroller, do some sit-ups during breaks, or take the stairs instead of the elevator. Pair up with a friend or another caregiver and begin an exercise regimen. Remember exercise offers not only esthetic benefits but also health benefits. Let’s move sisters!
(Always consult a doctor before beginning an exercise regimen.)
Do you find time to exercise?