How to Stay Fit and Healthy as a Caregiver 

The benefit of exercise has long been discovered and discussed throughout science-based articles and across all media platforms today. However, staying fit does not only take exercise, it takes discipline, time, and ambition. Healthcare workers and caregivers work long hours and are mostly on their feet throughout the day. However, staying fit and ultimately healthy as a caregiver can be hard, especially throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. 

At Caring Support, we want to ensure that caregivers are well taken care of because it is a direct reflection of our society’s well-being. Throughout this article, we share a few habits a caregiver can maintain, in order to create a healthy lifestyle and stay fit while not obstructing their work.

Related: Best Self-Care Recommendations For Nurses

Create an Exercise Plan 

It is common knowledge that exercise is not the only way to lead a healthy and fit lifestyle, and it relies heavily on food intake as well. However, this does not necessarily mean that exercising does not play a significant role within the process of staying fit. 

With that being said, before you dive into exercising, consider your current lifestyle. How will your new routine affect your schedule, your work situation, what type of exercise would you prefer and will it generate a level of happiness along with becoming fit. These items might seem cliché but are the ultimate determinant of how far you can go. 

Another aspect to keep in mind is considering your exercise personality. Caregivers often work interchangeable schedules, switching from nights-to-day-shifts. Depending on your schedule, think of the following questions: 

  1. Do you have more energy in the morning, at night, or during the day? 
  2. What will keep you motivated to continue? 
  3. Do you prefer group classes? (this can be an option through home-workouts and online classes)
  4. And lastly, what is your current fitness level? 

These are important questions to consider before beginning because it allows you to then aim for realistic goals and work within your own boundaries. More often than not, caregivers find themselves working more shifts or longer hours than expected. Don’t hold yourself accountable for meeting the standards of those around you, simply focus on your goals.

Lastly, discuss your exercise plan with your physician before you begin any new exercise program. This is because; depending on your overall health, some types of exercise might do you more damage than good if not done properly. Once you’ve considered all of the above factors, you can proceed to create your plan. Here are some suggestions:

Maintain Good Health Habits

Healthcare workers spend a lifetime taking care and ensuring that their patients are healthy and safe. However, caregivers often forget that, like their patients, they are also in need of that same attention and care. 

More often than not, caregivers delay giving attention to their health. How many times have you heard a fellow caregiver put-off getting their yearly exam? Or even visiting the doctor to ensure that their health is up to par? 

Invest in your own health and yourself in general by taking time to ensure that you're well taken care of as well. Commonly, caregivers work in fast-paced environments and are often short on time, which can lead to relying on fast-food as a form of nutrition. However, it is important to look for ways to incorporate more proteins, vegetables, and fresh fruit into your diet. This obviously can be done through planning and packing yourself a healthy lunch and snack for work to improve and maintain your overall nutritional status. 

Meal Prep!

As mentioned previously, maintaining healthy and good habits such as consuming foods that are high in protein, and incorporating fresh fruit and vegetables into your diet requires planning. That is where meal prepping comes in handy. 

We understand that meal prepping can be a difficult task, but it has proven to work wonders. In order to make life a tad bit easier, it is recommended to prep the same meals for your work. We all understand that it can become repetitive to eat the same lunch for 3-5 days in a row, but meal prepping the same dish can really save you time, and if you are able to find a recipe you enjoy, then it makes it totally worth it. If you are someone that likes a lunch with a variety, find meals that have ingredients that overlap in order to make the prep part easier and quicker. Some great meal ideas are found on Fit Foodie Finds

If you are someone that enjoys connecting with others and inquiring about what healthy habits have worked for them, you can always join social groups on Facebook – we have a great suggestion here: Caregivers Connect by Caring Support.

Healthy living and staying fit is a process. It can be challenging but the reward is far bigger than the fight. At Caring Support, we understand that caregivers are the true backbone of our society, and ensuring that they’re healthy and safe is our goal. Caring Support offers caregivers all the tools necessary to ensure their success, from providing a platform to match with potential employers and healthcare organizations, to delivering helpful tips and information through blog posts, news feeds, and groups. 

Make sure to sign up to our platform if you are a new caregiver, and follow our social platforms to stay up to date with new and enhanced features.

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