Why Is It Important for Family Caregivers to Exercise?

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Optimal physical and emotional health is crucial for family caregivers. Eating well, getting enough sleep, and managing stress are important components of good health, as is getting enough exercise. Here are some reasons family caregivers need to exercise regularly.

Enhance Mood

Family caregivers are often faced with stressful situations and may be at risk for developing depression and anxiety. Regular exercise is an excellent outlet for relieving stress because certain brain chemicals such as endorphins are released into the bloodstream. Also known as “feel-good” chemicals, endorphins may have a positive effect on mood and significantly decrease stress while promoting restorative sleep patterns. 

If you’re telling yourself you simply don’t have time to exercise because of your caregiving duties, respite care could be the answer. In Flower Mound, respite care is a great help to many families. Caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times, which puts family caregivers at risk for burnout. However, an in-home caregiver can take over your loved one’s care, allowing you the time you need to focus on your own health, maintain a full-time job, or care for other members of your family.

Maintain Muscle Strength

If your senior loved one has limited mobility and is unable to ambulate or change positions in bed, you may need to physically assist him or her. As a result, you may be more susceptible to injuries such as muscle strains and sprains. Regular exercise can enhance muscle strength so your muscles and surrounding structures won’t be as prone to injuries when assisting your loved one. Exercise can also provide you with more energy so lifting and turning your loved one won’t feel so strenuous. Increased muscle strength can also lower your risk for an accident when caring for your loved one. Weak muscles may cause you to lose your balance when providing assistance, which may result in losing your hold on your loved one. When you’re steady on your feet and have optimal muscle strength, your parent will also feel more secure during caregiving sessions. 

If you find the physical responsibilities involved in taking care of your loved one safely are too difficult, help is available. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Flower Mound senior care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help.

Promote Circulation

It’s essential that caregivers have optimal circulation when taking care of a senior loved one. Circulation keeps the bones, muscles, and joints strong, and it also promotes effective breathing patterns and cardiovascular health. Getting regular exercise encourages optimal circulation so you can stay healthy for your loved one. Good circulation also promotes brisk blood flow to the brain, which may lead to clearer thinking, better cognitive function, and a brighter outlook.

Set an Example

Many seniors lead sedentary lifestyles, which isn’t conducive to optimal health. A sedentary lifestyle can complicate health conditions such as diabetes and arthritis and raise the risk for high blood pressure, chronic pain, and obesity. It’s important that your loved one be aware of your exercise pattern. When you exercise, you set a good example. Seeing you exercise may motivate your loved one to exercise alongside you, which benefits you both. Before encouraging your parent to begin a new exercise routine, check with his or her physician to make sure your loved one is healthy enough to increase activity.

Family caregivers need to make sure to take care of themselves so they can provide the best care for their loved ones, and exercise is an important part of that process. Finding the time to exercise can be challenging, so it may be a good idea to hire a professional caregiver to help for a few hours every day or a day or two every week. When researching agencies that provide home care, Flower Mound, families are usually looking for flexible care plans, compassionate and highly trained caregivers, and 24/7 availability. Whether you need respite care to take a break from your caregiving duties or your senior loved one needs around-the-clock assistance at home, you can rely on Home Care Assistance. Home Care Assistance can be your trusted partner when your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging. Call us today at (972) 468-6010 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.