Simple Stretches You Can Do to Stay Healthy as a Caregiver on the Job
August 30 2019
These Simple Exercises will Keep Your Caregiver Job from Taking a Toll on Your Body
Being a caregiver is hard work. Each day is like a full body workout, leaving your muscles sore and you tired. Despite all the hard work you do, it is important to find a few minutes each day to stretch your muscles properly to help protect your body from injury, such as straining your back.
These simple stretches will not only keep you flexible, but help keep up your endurance for those long days. Stretches should feel good. Remember to work within your own abilities, making modifications when needed and to go slowly.
1You can jumpstart your day with a good backstretch with cat pose before getting to work for the day. Cat pose is also great at the end of a long day to stretch sore back muscles. Start by getting down on all fours, looking down and keeping your hands directly under your shoulders, laying them flat on the ground. Your knees should be hip-width apart. Look straight ahead—your body should be formed into a table-like pose with your back as the table top. As you inhale, raise your chin and tilt your head back and push your navel downward, raising your tailbone. Compress your glutes. Hold this pose for several long breaths. As you exhale, drop your chin to your chest and arch your back up. Relax your glutes. Hold this pose for a few seconds before returning to the table-like pose. Repeat these steps as needed.
2Place your hands on your hips and slowly swivel them around in a clockwise motion like you are using a hula-hoop. Do 5 to 10 rotations then repeat going counter-clockwise. This stretch will help keep your back and hip muscles stable and balanced, easing and preventing lower back pain.
3Start by standing up straight, keeping your head level. Place one hand behind your back, placing the back of your hand on your lower back. Place your other hand on top of your head and gently pull your head to the side until you feel a stretch. You should feel it in your neck, shoulder and a little in your core. Hold this pose for 20 seconds the repeat on the other side.
Cross-Body Should Stretch
4Start by standing or sitting tall. Using your left hand, go under your right arm and grab your right arm above the elbow and pull it across your body, toward your chest until you feel a stretch in your shoulder. Be sure keep your elbow below shoulder height. Hold this pose for at least 30 seconds then repeat on the other side.
5In a seated position, straighten your left leg and hold it in place for 10 seconds. Repeat with your right leg. Make sure to sit with good posture!
6Start by standing straight with your feet flat on the floor. Then rise up onto your toes and hold for 10 seconds. Release this pose, going back to being flat on your feet. Repeat as needed. Make sure to hold onto something sturdy for support and balance if you need it.
By taking some time throughout your day to do some of these simple stretches, you will be able to keep up your energy and help prevent injury to yourself. When you are feeling your best, you will be able to provide better care to your patients!