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  • Kristin McNealus, DPT, MBA

Caring for Yourself IS Caring for the Family

Parenting is tough. It is a non-stop job, and you do not get sick days. Parenting for a child with a disability can be even more challenging because you may not be able to find a sitter who can help with any short reprieve. This can impact your marriage if you and your spouse do not get time together. It is important to recognize these additional challenges in order to address them. Your job is to give care to others, but many people forget that they have to make time to care for themselves. If you get sick or injured, then everybody loses, right? You cannot perform your job, and the person who relies on you is also now in trouble.

While optimal health has many facets, we will focus on exercise. Exercise decreases the risk for common health complications such as heart disease and diabetes. We are all at an increased risk for these as we age, but a lack of exercise increases this risk further as well as increases your risk at a younger age. You know what else increases the risk for these complications – stress! Parenting can be quite stressful! These health complications do not actually have many symptoms, right? It may be easy to not pay attention or even think about preventing when there are more pressing issues that need your immediate attention. But with any of these conditions, you are at an increased risk for a heart attack or stroke – either of which may significantly impair your ability to care for your children. Diabetes can be devastating on the whole body and can cause many unpleasant symptoms. Again, these are within your control, and can be prevented with exercise. If you get diagnosed, exercise can help manage them.

Exercise can also help to keep you strong. Parenting, especially for a growing child who has a disability, is a physically demanding job. If you hurt your back or sprain a joint, again you won’t be able to do your job and everybody loses. Exercise can help prevent injury – stronger muscles support joints! Exercise also helps boost your immune system so you don’t get those pesky little illnesses like a cold or flu that can also impact your ability to work, as well as just be annoying. Exercise is also important for weight management. The more weight you have to move around, the harder the physical stress on your body and increased risk for injury, and the harder it becomes to physically help move another person’s body.

We can help get you moving! And we will come to you on your schedule! Contact us today to get started.

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