Take a Break

How to Make Exercise Less Exercising

Last updated: May 25, 2011

Walking on a foggy morning at sunrise

"Exercise" can be a daunting word, especially to those with no time or coordination or who hate smelly gyms. Try thinking plain old "movement" instead. Start moving more, together with the person you're caring for, if you can "“ even if this means starting really small. Maybe it's a tai chi class you can take together (good for balance and fall prevention, too). Can you walk around the block "“ or even around the house, or up and down stairs? Lift three-pound hand weights, even if you can only lift them three times in a row at first. Rent a yoga or Pilates DVD if you can't leave home. Do these things not to burn calories but with the goal of boosting your energy and improving your mood. Those may sound like counterintuitive benefits to sweating and doing something you dislike for those reasons -- but it works.

-- Paula Spencer Scott