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As a caregiver, you’re probably busy running around, taking care of everyone else’s needs but your own. At the end of the day, you often feel exhausted. Maintaining your own physical fitness is probably the last thing on your mind (plus, doesn’t all that “running around” count?). But there are important reasons why – and how – it SHOULD be on your mind.

Why is fitness important to caregivers?

Firstly, physical fitness is crucial simply so that you can feel your best and maintain your own health. After all, YOU are an important person, too! But if you’re looking for an additional reason, staying in shape will allow you to take better care of your loved one. You’ll have immunity that can fend off illnesses more readily, muscles that can move a caree around with little trouble and a cardiovascular system that lets you breathe easier while providing care.

How can caregivers stay fit?

Admittedly, working fitness into your day may seem challenging if you’re a caregiver. But it’s easier than you realize. Wear a Fitbit, pedometer or other fitness tracker so that the caregiving you do can count toward your workout goals. Exercise with your caree (taking into account their own abilities, of course) while watching T.V. or listening to music.

How do YOU manage to stay fit and be a caregiver at the same time? Feel free to share your suggestions in the comments!