It’s 5:30pm, the end of a hectic workday and you are looking forward to going to your gym to take a 6 P.M. exercise class. But just as you are about to walk out the door, your boss informs you that you must complete and important project so that it’s ready first thing in the morning.
If it’s not one thing, it’s another that continually prevents you from maintaining a consistent exercise routine. The real issue here is not that you have to work late. The issue is that you have become totally dependent upon an outside source to achieve fitness.
You are the one responsible for establishing and maintaining your own fitness program. If your goal is to exercise three to four times a week, and you’re absent more than you attend those classes, you might want to ask yourself the following question: Can I go to a gym consistently, week after week, with my current lifestyle?
If you are not sure, you might want to take a pen and paper and write down what a typical day is like in your life. Some things to take into consideration:
Can you break away from your caregiving responsibilities long enough to attend a fitness class?
Do you travel?
Do you have children to tend to at the end of your workday?
Do you work long hours?
Do you have a lengthy commute to and from work every day?
Do you have certain orthopedic constraints or a certain medical condition that would prevent you from working out on a regular basis?
IF you answered “Yes” to any of the above questions and you belong to a health club or gym, chances are you are not as fit as you can be.
One of the biggest misconceptions about exercising at home is that you need a lot of space and a lot of expensive machinery to get fit. All you really need, however, are some basic pieces of athletic equipment. If you have a home gym, you can always fit exercise into your schedule. You will be able to avoid most interruptions and you won’t have to wait for a machine.
Another big advantage of exercising at home is that you can hire a trainer, who will design a workout program for you that is safe, efficient, and effective. Most people exercise incorrectly or tend to overdo it a bit (especially in the beginning) and, as a result, injure themselves. According to the most up-to-date data on fitness and injuries, nearly half of the people who take exercise classes will suffer a chronic, lifelong injury.
Many people do not exercise at home because they lack one important ingredient: motivation. How can you build up enough motivation to exercise on your own? The first thing you need to do is to get some knowledgeable advice from someone in the fitness field, someone who teaches exercise for a living. But even that is not enough. This expert should teach with a philosophy that will properly educate and motivate you, one that will eventually allow you to exercise on your own, while he or she is not there with you.
Let’s face it, if you have only 30 to 40 minutes, three or four times a week to devote to fitness, you need to get the most out of that limited time, and you must make it a habit to be consistent with your workouts. If you don’t, you will never become truly fit and you’ll always be playing catch-up with your fitness regimens.
So, if you are starting an exercise program, or have been trying to maintain an exercise program and have failed to notice any improvement in your energy level, physical state or the way you look or feel, perhaps it’s time to bring exercise into your home.
What is the main difference between weight loss and toning? What are the most effective exercises for toning vs. weight loss? It’s all in the difference between aerobic exercise and anaerobic exercise.
PhysEd Fitness Tips
If your goal is to trim down and lose mass in any part of your body, lifting heavy weights won’t give you the body you want. Lifting light weights however, will.
Body type has nothing to do with how much fat or muscle your body possesses. It has nothing to do with whether you’re fat, thin, tall short or overweight, athletic, or nonathletic. It simply means that if you added weight or muscle, where on your body would that be most obvious?
Everyone, despite their age or current level of fitness can possess a fit and toned body if you’re willing to put the time and effort in and give 100%.
You can’t imagine adding another thing to your daily routine.
You can barely leave the house to go grocery shopping.
You have a tight budget and big expenses.
You are tired of hearing to “take care of yourself.”
These are all valid reasons that prevent us, as caregivers, from staying fit. We get how time- and energy-consuming caregiving can be. But PhysEd for Caregivers is a fitness program designed AROUND these constraints.
“Life, right now, is going to get better for you. Everyone can include in proper fitness into their lifestyle, despite any constraint.”
Ed Jackowski of Exude Fitness show us, in under five minutes, how to save ourselves a lot of pain and discomfort!
Legs Apart – Hamstrings Stretch:
Sit on the floor or bed with your legs as far apart as possible. Bend forward as far as you can, moving your hands, palm down, towards your ankles. Grasp your ankles (or the top of your socks) and gently pull your upper body into a comfortable stretch – and hold.
Legs Together – Hamstrings Stretch:
Remain seated and extend your legs straight in front of you. Gently, bend forward from the hips and reach towards your toes and hold. You can hold this stretch holding your toes, or grab on to your socks.
Tips of the Week:
1. The wonderful thing about proper exercise is that after one year of exercising, the body reacts as if it has been exercising its entire life!
2. What’s the most important factor to becoming & staying fit? Consistency is the most important factor in becoming fit. Organize yourself to make time.
3. If you’re looking to reduce size down below, beware; for certain body types, spinning, step classes and stair climbers can actually increase the size of your buttocks, thighs, and hips.
Are you beginning to workout and aren’t too sure where to start? In this episode, PhysEd states the importance of working out according to your lifestyle. For an example, if you work full-time, you may need to map out a time that is appropriate for you to exercise. In addition, PhysEd also noted how making an appointment with your fitness program is a key component for beginners. As a beginner, you should always stretch in order to avoid pulling any muscles. Lastly, you should always consult with you medical doctor to decide what exercise is suitable for you. Practice each and everyday!
In this video PhysEd discusses the importance of knowing what a healthy heartbeat is. Get an inside look at what distinguishes anaerobic and aerobic activity so you can determine what type of exercise is best for you. PhysEd debunks myths and preconceptions of what exercise is about in this informative video that gets to the root of how to stay healthy through regular cardiovascular exercise.
Are you having back pain? In this video PhysEd talks about the causes of back pain and shows us how to strengthen the lower back. He also shows us how to increase flexibility and range of motion through cardiovascular, core strengthening, and upper body strengthening exercise. Finally we see how to strengthen our quads through simple exercises.
Are you curious to find out what hamstrings are and how much they can effect your back? In this video, PhysEd shows us where the hamstrings are, how to warm-up, and how to stretch to prevent back pain.
There are many creative ways of exercising while at home. Although this may seem out of the ordinary, you can exercise on a chair. In this video PhysEd demonstrates different workout routines that you can perform just by sitting on a chair. Make sure that the chair is comfortable, which will make the exercise less difficult. PhysEd also gives tips on exercises that are convenient for chair workouts such as leg exercises and abdominal workouts.
Do you know a caretaker who might be afraid of working out? Many people who are disabled or suffer from health problems have a fear of exercising. They’re afraid that exercise could cause further injury. However, exercising can lower the risk of chronic diseases. Health problems such as diabetes or heart diseases can be controlled through healthy dieting and exercising. Regardless of your condition, anyone can become active and fit.
As a caregiver, have you been stressed lately? In this video, PhysEd focuses on defining stress and techniques on how to deal with it. PhysEd emphasizes that exercising is the key to cope with anxiety, stress, and depression. PhysEd suggests that performing aerobic exercise for about thirty minutes a day can make a big difference. PhysEd also review questions that caregivers may be concerned about, such as, who will take care of a loved one if something happens to a caregiver? Lastly, it is always best to maintain a positive mindset as a caregiver.
Serious falls oftentimes occur at home, the best way to prevent this is to maintain a safe and clear environment. During this video, PhysEd states the importance of exercising and making sure areas are clean, in order to protect caretakers from falls. Physed also mentions that accessibility is also very important, such as rails around the house. He demonstrates how to perform range and motion and he notes what footwear should be worn inside and outside of the home. Falls are unexpected and caregivers and caretakers should prepare for one.
Because my husband’s legs are paralyzed I lift him many times a day. I lift his legs, help him swing to the side, move to the edge of the bed, and use a transfer board. When he takes a nap and goes to bed, I lift his legs again. As the day progresses my back usually hurts more. Though I was keeping my husband safe, apparently I wasn’t being safe with myself.
My husband is a retired physician and advised me to “lift with your legs.” I try to do this, but am not always successful. Once my back starts to hurt it hurts for days. How could I improve my lifting skills?
I searched the Internet for information about safe lifting. Orthopedic Surgeon Jonathan Cluett, MD, offers some tips in his article, “How to Lift,” posted on the About.com website. His suggestions may apply more to your caregiving situation. Before you start to lift anything, you should have a plan, according to Dr. Clauett. Your plan will help you avoid awkward movements.
My husband uses an electric wheelchair and our plan had to include enough space for him to turn his wheelchair around. He needs turn around space on both sides of his hospital bed and it took several attempts to get the bed in the right position. When he moves from the transfer board to his wheelchair, we always turn the wheelchair off to avoid an accident. We don’t want to catch a sleeve on the chair controls or suddenly have it lurch forward. We also coordinate our efforts by counting “one, two, three” and moving on the number three.
Cluett says you should get some help if you feel like you are straining to lift. Paid caregivers come to help us four times a day. The caregivers lift my husband often and, when they are absent, I do it alone. Another of Cluett’s tips, which may surprise you, is to keep eyes up. “Looking slightly upwards will help you maintain a better position of the spine,” he explains.
Laura Inverarity, DO, offers more tips in her article, “Safe Lifting Technique: Eight Safety Tips When Lifting Heavy Objects,” posted on the Physical Therapy website. She tells the person who is lifting to stand close to the load. But if your loved one is bedridden, you can only stand so close, and probably have to lean over. Drs. Cluett and Inverarity ask the lifter to tighten their stomach muscles. I tried this and was surprised at how well it worked.
As you are lifting your loved one, keep your back straight and bend your knees. I remind myself to do this every time I lift my husband. As he advised, try to lift with your legs. If you do this correctly you will feel your leg muscles in action. Inverarity thinks it’s important not to twist your body while you are lifting. Keep in mind, however, that her article pertains to lifting objects. She goes on to say you should take small steps and keep turning your feet until you are in a correct position.
Like paid caregivers, you may wish to wear a belt or back support. According to Cluett, a protective belt and back support can help you “maintain a better lifting posture.”
I’ve been my husband’s family caregiver for six months now, and am slowly getting better at lifting. My progress has been slow because I have arthritic hips. You may have some health issues as well and your caregiving experience may be similar to mine. When it comes to safe lifting, we have two goals – protecting a loved one and ourselves. We want to be able to lift our loved one today, tomorrow, and all the caregiving days to come.
Tune in to hear caregiver fitness expert PhysEd address health and fitness questions from members of our community. Learn how you easily integrate small exercises and strength training activities into your day to day caregiving responsibilities.
During this episode PhysEd covers topics like strengthening your back, important stretches and suggestions on vitamins and supplements. Learning how you can integrate healthy practices like these into your day will build endurance, strengthen your resolve and help you feel better about making time to care for yourself.
As we move transition from Thanksgiving to the winter holiday season, food often plays a big part in how we come together. In this video segment, learn from PhysEd as he discusses “breaking even” as a more realistic approach to eating healthy during all the festivities.
Later in the video learn how you can prepare yourself for large gatherings to curb your appetite and still enjoy all the merriment.
At home taking care of things and still want to get in some exercise? PhysEd offers warm up tips and exercises you can try throughout the day. Discover how to make the most of your time by doing double duty on chores you might already do each week.
Ever heard of a flutter or low criss cross? Learn how simple exercises like these can develop muscles in your abdominals and inner and outer thighs. Watch as PhysEd shows you how to make the most of your workouts into repetitions and sets.
activities such as walking, playing golf, tennis, hiking
general exercise such as Yoga, Pilates, weight lifting, and then there is
With the first two, you may receive some ancillary health & fitness benefits provided that you exercise with the proper intensity, but you won’t change your body to your aesthetic liking.
2. There is no one piece of exercise equipment that is fitness in and of itself. But if you had to choose the one most beneficial piece of fitness equipment, it would be a jump rope.
3. Most people with back issues are most likely to have tight hamstrings. In order to eliminate back pain, you must improve your hamstring flexibility otherwise; you will most likely have back pain for your entire life.
4. You can actually increase the amount of cellulite on your body by performing the wrong exercises for your body type.
5. Contrary to popular belief, muscle does not weigh more than fat. Muscle is however, heavier per square inch of volume compared to the same square inch of fat.
6. You cannot convert fat to muscle and muscle does not turn to fat if you stop exercising.
7. Just as it is common knowledge and acceptance that you can spot increase, you can also spot reduce if and only if you learn how to exercise based on your body type.
8. If you are working out with a personal trainer for thirty (30) days or more, and if your body is not improving, specifically your problem areas, then stop, you’re exercising wrong.
9. The average person who exercise with Exude’s patented methods loses 6-12 inches the first month!
10. Never skip your warm-up or stretch prior to exercising, even if you’re pressed for time. Just cut down on the amount of time you normally spend to warm-up and stretch, but make sure you still do both to insure success each and every time you workout.
11. There is a direct correlation between education and motivation with exercise and fitness.
12. The best motivator to maintaining consistency with anyone’s exercise program is to see results. These results can be an increased energy, less pain, a healthier body and/or a reduction in stress. But make no qualms about it, you also need to look better otherwise, you’ll suddenly find even new excuses not to go to the gym or workout.
13. Look it up in any exercise physiology book 101: weights bulk. So, the next time your “trainer” tells you that weights don’t bulk, ask him/her why weightlifters then lift weights versus jogging to get their desired look of having more muscle.
14. And, if weights don’t bulk, then based on that theory, we would all be the same size no matter which mode of exercise we choose – meaning that joggers, weightlifters, ballet dancers, tri-athletes, gymnasts, figure skaters and the like would all be similar in size because remember, weights don’t “bulk”.
15. If your goal is to trim down and you are overweight, the more weights you lift, the bigger the body part being worked will get.
16. Heavy weights, high resistance, steep incline, steep decline and hitting an immovable object all have the same effect on the human body – they will all bulk you.
17. To trim down, you must perform endurance-type exercises using light weights with high repetitions. High reps as it is known as means a minimum of 25 reps for each and every exercise.
18. For certain body types, doing spinning classes for reducing the size of your buttocks, thighs and hips is one of the most damaging exercises you could do. Have you noticed that your jeans are tighter? Now you know why…
19. Just because you are receiving fitness and/or health benefits from your current exercise regimen doesn’t guarantee that you will also receive the aesthetic benefit and please don’t confuse them, they are not synonymous.
20. You can be fit and still have problem areas and excess fat deposits in certain regions of your body.
21. It’s better to be overweight and under fat then over fat and under weight – provided that you exercise with the proper intensity that adds to your overall fitness and health.
22. Although we are more educated on the benefits of exercise today, we are not more educated on how to fit proper exercise into our daily and hectic lifestyle.
23. PhysEd’s goal is to reeducate what people “think” they know about exercise and fitness.
24. We tend to take better care of the car we drive than the vehicle in which we drive around in everyday, 24 hours a day – our bodies!
25. For type II diabetics, if you want to stop taking medication as treatment, then get yourself in shape and most likely, your new medication will now be exercise, and that my friend, you don’t need a prescription for.
26. The most powerful drug in the world is owning a tablet of knowledge known as a sound fitness program and the ability to implement one.
27. It’s okay if you’re overweight, out-of-shape or possess low-energy. But, it’s not okay to be doing nothing about it…
28. Having a medical condition or orthopedic constraint IS NOT a reason not to be exercising. In fact, it’s the main reason you should be exercising if you ever want to feel good again.
29. If you want to do anything effective concerning getting your children in shape, then perhaps you as parents should first get yourself in shape, then maybe, just maybe, you’ll have a fighting chance of slimming down your kid(s).
30. Children learn from their parents and the example that you set. If your children see that you eat well, exercise and are active, there’s a good chance little jr. will follow in your footsteps!
31. There are a lot of decent and respected motivators out there in the world today. But there is only one entity that is able to motivate you to become self-motivated. Now, welcome to world of PhysEd for Caregivers.
8. The human body generally needs 4-6 weeks to respond positively to exercise. It’s important to work AT YOUR OWN PACE, not others.
9. The four phases of every workout (in order):
10. Warm-Up before stretching. Contrary to popular belief, one shouldn’t stretch before warming up or exercising. First, you need to warm up for 6-10 minutes, then stretch, then workout.
11. Stretching helps prevent recurring and severe injuries. The more flexible one becomes, the faster and fit one will be.
12. Fitness is your body’s ability to do whatever you want it to do, whenever you want to do it.
13. You can get too much of a good thing. Over exercising can lead to insomnia, stress fractures and other injuries plus a pre-occupation with fitness, diet and body image.
14. Six out of ten individuals who purchase fitness equipment never use it after six months. (Wall Street Journal)
15. There are five components that comprise the definition of fitness:
16. You can walk from NY to California and still not be fit.
17. You’re never too unfit, too unmotivated, too injured or too old to start exercising.
18. If your goal is to trim down and lose mass in any part of your body, lifting heavy weights won’t give you the body you want. Lifting light weights however, will.
19. Unless a corporate “wellness” program includes an in-house exercise and fitness program, it is incomplete.
20. Gym efficiency tip: If you are at the gym exercising for more than one hour, than you’re probably not utilizing your time efficiently, unless you’re training for a competitive sport.
21. Body type has nothing to do with how much fat or muscle your body possesses. It has nothing to do with whether you’re fat, thin, tall short or overweight, athletic, or nonathletic. It simply means that if you added weight or muscle, where on your body would that be most obvious?
22. A great diet can never make up for lack of exercise, but a great exercise program can make up for lack of a great diet.
23. Genetics do play a role in flexibility, but everyone can increase their flexibility if they learn the correct techniques.
24. Just because you’re exercising doesn’t mean you are getting fit.
25. You cannot become fit by being active… you can only become more active by becoming fit.
26. Your diet (what you eat) affects your scale weight, not your shape. Only through proper exercise, specifically body typing – can you alter your shape and rid your body of your “problem areas.”
27. To effectively combat stress, try exercising versus going for a drink. You’ll feel better and you’ll be building good habits that will help you deal with whatever curveballs life throws at you.
28. If you’re thinking of losing weight through dieting alone, think again… Dieting leaves you feeling hungry, agitated, and a feeling of tiredness with low energy and you will not be able to exercise with any sort of intensity. Exercise however, helps you achieve better eating habits and raises your metabolism allowing you to eat and drink in moderation.
29. Never start or embark on a diet (eating plan) or exercise routine that you can’t maintain today, tomorrow, next month and next year…
30. Everyone, despite their age or current level of fitness can possess a fit and toned body if you’re willing to put the time and effort in and give 100%.
When I was growing up as a youngster, I remember the great times we had when my grandmother moved in with us after our grandfather passed away. Every morning, my grandma would make us breakfast which consisted of 2 soft-boiled eggs and toast and we would all sit around and have breakfast together. Now, years later, it is my 90-year-old mother who needs assistance and I truly believe that one of the sole reasons why my mom still drives and holds down two full-time part-time jobs (one as a librarian and the other as a teacher) is because of the support and love that my sister who is her main caregiver and other family members that help give my mom the inspiration to live-on with such a passion and zest for love…
I have been invited to join The Caregiver Space by Adrienne and her wonderful staff to provide helpful information and insight to help make all caregivers around the world more valuable by making better lifestyle choices and ways to become more fit, healthier and happier. Not only will it make your day-to-day chores and jobs easier to tackle, it will also spill-over to the loved ones you’re caring for and it will open new doors and horizons for all that come to The Caregiver Space for help, guidance, advice and caregiver support.
The more you can do for yourself, the more you can give to any loved ones who you are giving your unconditional love to on a steady basis.
The will and drive to live-on, despite any medical, physical or mental constraints that are present can overcome any barriers that seem to stand in the way and the stronger you will become both mentally and physically… as you will learn how to become and stay fit – which is the key to living a productive life and avoiding caregiver burnout.
Looking forward to a long and fruitful journey together…