Exercise & Stretches For Caregivers

 

 

 Your Body Matters!

 Exercises

 Stretches

 Your body matters!  

YOGA (see "Relaxation for Caregivers also)

Yoga is great for stress management and combines physical exertion with relaxation.  This video is a great introduction to the basic positions and clearly shows beginner techniques. There are hundreds of other yoga videos available that you can access online for free, and surely one will be right for you! Alternatively, you can find a class in your area, and have both the sense of community and the watchful eye of a trained teacher to guide you as you learn. 

Just search "yoga" at Youtube - there are a ton to choose from...

 

WALKING

One of the easiest and best forms of exercise, especially if you are currently more sedentary, is walking.  EverybodyWalk's is a site with tons of information on walking, and is presented by the Kaiser Foundation. 

 Here is the trailer for their 30 minute video: The Walking Revolution

 

 

We also recommend the Physical Activity information pages on the Nutrition.gov site.

Walking - Exercise Information 

For your children:  check out the Let's Move site.

7 MINUTE WORKOUT

This scientifically studied workout is shown to pack a LOT of fitness into seven short minutes.  It is great if your bones, muscles and joints are up for it!  This video is a clear guide to the program, with alternate exercises you can do if your body isn't ready for the more intense stuff.

 

A Commitment To Self-Care - My Story 
by Lynn Morgan Rosser

Exercise is one of the most important, beneficial and all-around good things you can do for your body and your life.  It is also one of the most difficult to get moving with, it seems!  A few years ago I managed to do the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in Charlotte, NC.  I trained, ended up seeing a physical therapist as I was in need of inserts for my arch (couldn't go more than 9 miles due to the pain), and trained some more, and I did it!  The whole marathon and a half, every step of the way.  There was a sense of pride for this, as I did it for my 40th birthday, and to put my own cancer experience (Hodgkin's Disease at age 22) fully and completely behind me.  Then, due to the recovery time involved after that massive effort, I got out of the habit of exercising and didn't get back into it.  Period.  I tried a few things to motivate myself, but they didn't work as crises in my life (things seem to come in threes, don't they?) knocked me into survival mode.  I realized I'd let weight gain and a sedentary lifestyle get the best of me!

I finally decided to "wake up."  I was ready, and because I am doing this website and being asked to do some speaking engagements, etc., I knew it was time to really walk my talk.  So I recently made a commitment to put exercise into my life every day, based on a lot of self-knowledge as to what works and doesn't work for me. Every day sounds like a lot!  (I also committed to a healthier diet, removing foods that I react badly to and am staying the course with nutrition as well.)

So what am I doing to keep this commitment?  For me, variety and flexibility of schedule is the key with my crazy life! (How to put yourself back into your life? Nurture Your Life!)

I don't go to a gym - both for reasons of time and money.  Instead, I work out at home or on my own, or with a friend if we can schedule it.  I am learning to do yoga, which is quite an adventure (never knew I was this stiff!). I have some hand-held weights and a few routines I've collected from books and magazines that I can do when I want to.  I enjoy walking, and my youngest son can come with me if it's not too strenuous or far.  I do floor exercises from various schools of thought with a focus on working my "core."  Before my head hits the pillow (and sometimes that is very late at night), I go and do a reasonable exercise routine of my choosing.  I have been very successful at doing this, because 1) the demand is coming from inside myself, 2) the rewards of doing the exercise are obvious, and 3) I'm allowing it to be fun by choosing things I enjoy.  

As to my weight issues - well, I'm on it but I'm not applying pressure or any form of guilt to myself.  Keeping it positive allows me to be in control of my choices and not get caught up in the whole unreasonable goals/failure/guilt/rebellion thing that has ruled me in the past.  I can get beyond the negative stuff because I'm aware of it, and I'm being kind to myself, patient, forgiving and reasonable.  It took a LONG time to get here and it won't be solved in a week, or a month, but a year? Or two?  Now that's reasonable!  :-)

I encourage you to look deeply and get to know yourself - what kind of exercise is or could be enjoyable? What rewards can you give yourself for being motivated for just a day?  I put up my commitment to exercise on Facebook to my friends and received such caring support and inspiration - that was a reward in and of itself!  Find your own support in friends and/or family who care for you, will cheer you on, and celebrate your efforts.  Stay away from nay-sayers and negative thinking patterns.  

Give yourself a gift: get moving!  Enjoy life!
And know that I'm right here doing it with you, and cheering you on!!

 - Lynn

 

  

 

 

 

 

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