Too tired to exercise? Simple changes to your daily routine can save you valuable energy to allow you to participate in additional activities during the day or simply avoid feeling fatigued as often. The following tips are meant to help you look at your everyday activities and determine if there is a more efficient and safe way of doing them.
Take a look around your home.
- Keep frequently used items within easy reach.
- Strategically place furniture to keep pathways open and eliminate the need to constantly move items to navigate your environment.
- Have stable sitting surfaces (chair, bench) in each room to allow you to sit and rest during prolonged activity. Sit, rather than stand, whenever possible, e.g. sit to perform dressing and grooming tasks.
- Long or extended handles can minimize the need for bending and stretching. Some examples are reachers, long-handled shoe horn, sponges, and door knob handles, etc.
- If you use a walker, add a basket or carry pouch to allow you to safely carry objects and keep both hands free to use the walker safely.
- Use lighter-weight objects when possible, e.g. replace heavy glass/china dishes with plastic when possible.
- Choose work surfaces that are appropriate heights to allow you to stand or sit as straight as possible when working. Poor posture can be more fatiguing; it can compromise breathing as well as place unnecessary strain on muscles, especially neck and back muscles.
Try to plan ahead.
- Gather all the items you need for an activity before you start to avoid unnecessary trips. For example, gather all your clothes before getting dressed or all items needed for showering before heading for the bathroom.
- Allow enough time to complete any task slowly and safely. You use more energy doing things quickly. Work at a comfortable, steady pace, and rest as needed. This not only conserves energy, but also optimizes safety.
- Take a rest break before you become fatigued. Frequent, short rest periods are preferred over reaching the point of fatigue and needing an extended period of time to recover.
- Try keeping a daily log of your activities and review it to determine if more fatiguing tasks can be spread over the day, rather than all being done at once. For example, choose and gather your clothes for the next day the evening before, rather than in the morning when you need to get washed and dressed before breakfast.
- Ask for assistance when necessary. Heavy tasks, such as carrying laundry, rearranging furniture at home, and lifting heavy object from high and low places, not only cause fatigue, but can be safety risks. Know you capabilities, as well as your limits.
Remember that these are only suggestions. Everyone needs to look at his/her individual lifestyle and try to incorporate techniques that apply to them. Your energy is a valuable resource. Use it wisely!