My Walking Exercise Plan for the Busy Sandwich Generation Caregivers and Grandparents

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Balancing Life as a Busy Sandwich Generation Caregiver and Grandparent

While embarking on my walking exercise plan, an idea for this blog post emerged, prompting me to pause, switch to a dictation app, and capture a substantial part of this article. After resuming and completing my walk, covering a satisfying 1.3 miles in my house at 8 am, without a hint of boredom, I knew I had something valuable to share.

The Genesis of My Walking Exercise Plan

My inspiration came from my senior mother, an avid walker who would effortlessly spend 1-2 hours exploring our neighborhood. Despite my admiration, I struggled to emulate her enthusiasm for walking. My challenges were twofold: the busyness of life and a quick saturation point for scenic views that left me bored after just 15 minutes – yes, even lovely scenes like this gorgeous tulip tree:

Love the flowers I see when out walking in Roseville CA and the surrounding area of Lincoln and Rocklin and Sacramento

The solution sometimes came in the form of phone conversations with friends or family during walks, enhancing the experience, though this was not always feasible due to everyone’s busy schedules.

Adapting to Life’s Evolving Seasons

Life took a turn when my mother’s health declined, limiting her mobility and independence. This shift meant she could no longer enjoy her walks, and I found myself unable to leave her alone. Although I occasionally had assistance from local senior care services, the majority of my time was spent in her company, which both of us preferred. Needless to say, though, this situation underscored the need for me to find creative ways to maintain my physical health amidst significant sedentary periods.

YouTube Is A Great Resource For Caregivers

YouTube became a treasure trove of resources, offering everything from uplifting music playlists and Bible studies to news snippets, business training tips, and local interest videos. This platform provided a backdrop for what would become my innovative walking exercise plan.

Stumbling Upon My Full Walking Exercise Plan

My exercise routine evolved organically as I began pacing around my home while listening to YouTube content or talking on the phone. Since my regular shoes, that I pretty much live in (due to arthritis issues) are the oh-so-comfortable Hoka tennis shoes, I’m always ready to walk. The layout of my house supported this new form of multitasking, allowing me to circle through several rooms without interrupting my mother’s TV viewing or my engagement with digital content.

Expanding the Walking Routine

With my mother’s passing, my responsibilities shifted towards real estate and caregiving from a distance, maintaining my status within the Sandwich Generation. To stay active and efficient, I discovered even more ways to integrate work and exercise by walking while handling various tasks.

Invaluable Tools and Strategies

I leveraged technology, such as my Apple Watch coupled with a mileage tracking app. I use pedometer++ (both photos below are of that app – for some reason they don’t always put the ++). This  ensures consistent activity tracking of all my walking, whether I have my phone in my pocket, or my watch on my wrist, or both.  You can click here to see it on Apple. It is currently still showing free, althought they do have added items you can select for a fee. I always pick NO ADS if it’s under $5, which is what I have. That is still showing 1.99 but, of course, prices can change with little or no notice. 😊

Pedometer ++ is great for my walking exercise plan

pedometer ++ is awesome

My walking exercise plan now includes more outdoor walks to appreciate nature and gather content for my blogs, alongside indoor multitasking that incorporates walking.

To that, I added three excellent organizing apps – Alarmed , Errands, (Both Alarmed and Errands are available for iphone and ipad- free but if you pay a small fee as a thank you, it turns on other useful option(s) and Evernote – I pay for the upgraded version, coupled with gmail and YouTube.  This allowed me to work on activities like reading emails, organizing tasks, writing posts, and curating as well as listening to my wide variety of YouTube playlists, seamlessly blending all that in with my walking exercise plan’s  routine, enabling me to accumulate plenty of miles – VERY cool 😊!!!

One of the tools for my walking exercise plan

Making Every Moment Count

Throughout the day, I seize opportunities for additional walking during breaks, leveraging educational content to stay informed and engaged. While not every saved video gets watched, prioritizing the most relevant ones ensures I meet my daily walking goals, often exceeding them, while learning as I walk.

Celebrating Achievements

Achieving my step goal triggers a delightful ‘confetti’ celebration on my app, a simple yet satisfying reward that I love and that even my grandchildren thrill to see. Here’s yesterdays that I took about 5:30 pm. Later I ended up on two phone calls and my final mileage was an awesome 6.6 miles which I’m SURE helped make up for the extra calories from the cookies I munched on yesterday! 😊

Hooray - I got my confetti Great encouragement to keep me on my walking exercise plan

Reflections on a Simple Yet Effective Routine

This walking exercise plan, borne out of necessity and creativity, underscores the power of simplicity in maintaining health and wellness. While daily goals may not always be met, the overall impact is significant, offering a blend of physical activity, learning, and enjoyment.

I invite you to share your experiences or set new goals in the comments. Let’s inspire each other to stay active and engaged, no matter our circumstances. Happy walking!

The Wright Stuff
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