Over the past few years, I have managed to gain some weight. Bbecause I weigh more than I used to, people tend to think I don’t exercise. Nothing could be further from the truth. I do some form of exercise pretty much every day.
In my current situation as a primary caregiver, my time is more limited, but I still make it a point to pop in a DVD and do something each day. Caregiving, especially for the person who used to be my caregiver, is very stressful. It requires a big chunk of patience and lots and lots of compassion. The person for whom I am caregiving has always been fiercely independent, raise four strong children and hates being unable to care for herself. So she tends to get a bit cranky.
If I didn’t take the time to practice some Tai Chi, or some Pilates and take my walks, I would also get cranky, which would not benefit me or my Mom. It’s interesting that mainstream medical establishments are more and more getting on board with the great side benefits of exercise. Something us outside the main medical profession have known for some time, exercise is not only good for our bodies, it’s good for our minds, and our mood!
From Healthline Newsletter:
Doing right by your body pays off for your mind as well. The Mayo Clinic notes that physical activity stimulates the production of endorphins. Endorphins are brain chemicals that leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. Eating a healthy diet as well as exercising can lead to a better physique. You’ll feel better about your appearance, which can boost your confidence and self-esteem. Short-term benefits of exercise include decreased stress and improved cognitive function.
It’s not just diet and exercise that lead to improved mood. Another healthy habit that leads to better mental health is making social connections. Whether it’s volunteering, joining a club, or attending a movie, communal activities help improve mood and mental functioning by keeping the mind active and serotonin levels balanced. Don’t isolate yourself. Spend time with family or friends on a regular basis, if not every day. If there’s physical distance between you and loved ones, use technology to stay connected. Pick up the phone or start a video chat.”
Eating clean, getting regular exercise and staying social. No matter what your age, all of these things are good for us.