Carers 12 Days of Christmas Special – Day 5

Research over the last decade is clear: Carers who devote themselves to their loved ones to the exclusion of their own needs become ill. In a study of spousal carers (Schulz, et al, 1999), carers who experienced mental or emotional strain had a 63 percent higher risk of death than non carers and caregivers

Physical activity is proven to improve both mental and physical health. It tackles anxiety, depression and anger. It enhances your immune system and decreases the risk of developing diseases such as cancer and heart disease. It helps maintain a healthy weight. Becoming more active can lower your blood pressure by as much as 4 to 9 mm Hg. That’s the same reduction in blood pressure delivered by some antihypertensive medications.

Three 10-minute periods of activity are almost as beneficial to your overall fitness as one 30-minute session.

For each hour of regular exercise you get, you’ll gain about two hours of life expectancy, even if you don’t start until middle age. Moderate exercise, such as brisk walking, for as little as 30 minutes a day has the proven health benefits listed above as well as:

Improves self-image and energy levels
Improves muscle tone and muscle strength
Improves circulation, which reduces the risk of heart disease
Helps prevent bone loss
Promotes enthusiasm and optimism
Reduces coronary heart disease in women by 30–40 percent
Reduces risk of stroke by 20 percent in moderately active people and by 27 percent in highly active ones
Helps in the battle to quit smoking
Helps you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly
It’s also a good idea to spend some time outdoors. Sunlight on your skin helps your body produce vitamin D, which brings many added health benefits.

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