Taking regular exercise is good for your health, both physical and mental. Gyms, swimming, or sports clubs are great if you have the time, but they are not the only ways to get exercise and keep fit. As free time disappears, there are practical, everyday things that will help us keep fit:-
- Use stairs instead of lifts.
- Walk briskly whenever you can. If there is time catch the bus/tube at a later stop.
- Carry shopping rather than using a trolley for smaller loads.
- Take walks with the family members you’re keeping an eye on. If they have to use a wheelchair that in itself provides an extra workout!
- Housework and gardening, which need to be done anyway, provide a good workout especially if they’re done with some vigour! The same goes for washing and hoovering the car with the children!
As your parents become frail, you will end up doing more lifting and it is important you take good care of your back. There are lots of possible causes of back pain, from simply twisting awkwardly to lifting something too heavy. There are things we can do on a daily basis to strengthen our backs and that will also help if we have back pain already. Always ask your GP’s advice. (See article on one person’s experience).
Mental exercise is as important as physical exercise. The games on this web site are there to exercise your mind as well as to provide you with a quick break. Doing word games and puzzles with your parents is fun as well as helping keeping their minds sharp.
Try to build your exercise into your regular routine, such as going for a walk and doing the soduku or crossword. I try to combine it with something that I have to do. So I’ll walk to the shops or do the crossword on the train. Another double win is taking up an exercise class with friends. This way you are maintaining your social life as well as being active. For me exercise has to be fun. It has to be something I want to do, otherwise it will be dropped!