We understand that being a carer means it is often hard to make time for regular exercise or even get out of the house. But exercise can help to keep you healthy by lowering your risk of developing long-term conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and cancer. It can also boost your self-esteem, improve your mood and help you to sleep better.

Being fit and active can also can assist with the physical demands of your caring role by lowering your risk of injury and helping to keep your energy levels high. 

For many carers, finding the time to go for a run, attend an exercise class or go to the gym may seem impossible. However, staying active doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. Sometimes just a five-minute walk down the road or a jog round the garden can make the world of difference. 

Try to think of ways you could bring more activity into your normal day. For example, if you usually drive or get public transport when running errands locally, why not walk instead or get off the bus a stop early? 

If you struggle to get time out of the house by yourself, you could try a workout video online. There are lots to choose from, catering for all ages and levels of fitness. (See below for some suggestions). You could even do one that combines exercise with relaxation, such as yoga. If staying active is something that the person you are caring for also struggles with, you could find a video that is suitable for their needs too, and do it together. It could be fun and good for your relationship as well. 

The key to making this a lasting change is to find some form of exercise that you enjoy, so that it becomes something you look forward to rather than a chore. Think about any exercise you have enjoyed before, and whether you could do it again now.

If you have any health conditions which might impact your ability to exercise, talk to your GP or another medical professional for their advice about the types of exercise that would be best for you. 

Carers UK – Physical activity and wellbeing videos

NHS – Exercise