Caregivers in Concord, NC
You have heard of the “Freshman 15”, the dreaded extra weight young adults pack on during their first year in college. What you may not have heard about is the “Caregiver 15”. More than half of caregivers report putting on between 10 and 20 pounds of extra weight during the course of their care relationship with their elderly parents. These extra pounds put stress on the body, reduce physical health, and lower self-confidence. Avoiding the Caregiver 15 is an important part of taking care of yourself so you can maintain your own wellbeing and be the highest quality caregiver you can be throughout your entire care journey.
Try some of these tips for avoiding the Caregiver 15 and keeping yourself strong and healthy in your care efforts:
• Eat breakfast. It may be an old adage, but there is a tremendous amount of truth behind the saying “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. With this first meal you are literally “breaking the fast”, giving your body its first fuel in many hours. Trying to push your depleted body to take on challenges during the day leads to fatigue, irritability, weakness, and intense hunger, making you much more likely to overindulge in low-quality foods. Skipping meals also lowers your metabolism, causing your body to burn calories and fat less efficiently. Eating a well-balanced, high-nutrition breakfast each morning gives you energy, supports your bodily functions, and helps keep you from eating high-calorie and high-fat snacks
• Snack wisely. Rather than focusing on eating three large meals each day, spread out your eating to five or six mini-meals throughout the day. Plan each to be a balance of protein, fiber, and produce to keep your energy up, your blood sugar levels balanced, and your metabolism efficient. Try mini-meals such as a few small chunks of natural cheese and a sliced apple, bell pepper slices and hummus, a smoothie of fresh fruit and Greek yogurt, turkey rolled with baby spinach leaves, or celery with natural peanut butter and raisins
• Multi-task your exercise. Taking care of elderly adults can mean spending long stretches on your feet, lifting, bending, and other activities, but it can also mean spending a lot of time in the car and sitting with your parents. Keep yourself active and increase the effectiveness of your activity by multi-tasking your exercise. Put light weights on your ankles to increase the benefits of each step you take, perform a few bicep curls with each can while putting groceries away, park further out in the parking lot while running errands, or invest in a pedal machine that lets you pedal like you are on an incumbent bike but without the entire bike so you can pedal while folding laundry or watching TV
• Get plenty of sleep. Not sleeping enough puts stress on your body and increases hormones that cause your body to hold on to fat. Getting plenty of sleep increases your body’s efficiency and supports calorie and fat-burning
• Keep up your workouts. If you have a favorite type of workout, whether it is jogging, Zumba, or swimming laps, do not give them up when you become a caregiver. Take the time out regularly to keep up with these workouts, even if that means hiring a home care provider to take on some of the care responsibilities so you have this time.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring caregivers in Concord, NC, contact Caring at Heart today. Our staff will answer all of your questions about caring for an aging adult. Serving Charlotte, Statesville, Ballantyne, Mooresville, Huntersville, Matthews, Concord, Gastonia, Pineville and Indian Trail. CALL TODAY (704) 837-4564.