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Find it hard to stay active because you work from home? Here is a list of seven ways that you can make your work from home days more active.
7 Ways to stay active when you work from home
There are many brilliant positives about working from home.
You can create your own flexible work schedule, you don’t have to commute, you are less likely to get sick and you don’t have to pay a fortune for lunch.
But working from home can have some downsides as well.
One of the big ones is that it is very easy to slip into a sedentary lifestyle.
No commute means that you don’t really have to move that much to get to your desk.
Plus it can be hard to tear yourself away from your laptop to do anything other than work.
But you really do need to make sure you keep your body active on a daily basis.
It’s vital for your health and wellbeing.
Plus it’s also great for focus and productivity.
So there really is no excuse not to do it.
The benefits of regular exercise
It is super important to find a way to build exercise into your daily life.
There are so many benefits to keeping your fitness levels up. You will…
- feel happier
- maintain a healthy weight
- keep your muscles and bones healthy
- increase your energy levels
- reduce your risk of chronic disease
- improve the tone and condition of your skin
- increase your focus and brain health
Here is a list of seven ways to keep your fitness levels up when you work from home.
These seven tips are all things that I do on a daily and weekly basis to make sure that I stay active on the days that I work from home.
How to build exercise into your work from home day
1. Wear activewear
I wear activewear when I work from home.
This one change to what I wear on work days has helped change my level of fitness.
That way I am always ready to do some exercise.
Don’t get me wrong, I will change out of my gym kit if I’ve done a sweaty workout.
But I usually change into something equally fitness workout friendly.
That way I have NO EXCUSES not to get enough activity into my working day.
2. Build exercise into your daily schedule
Plan it in.
It’s that simple.
Worried that you don’t have time?
Then use exercise to punctuate your day.
Do some squats whilst brushing your teeth.
Walk the kids to school rather than jumping into the car ahead of your working day.
Have a ten minute exercise break at morning coffee time… then make that cup of coffee.
Do some yoga just before lunch.
You get the idea.
3. Try short bursts of intense exercise
Use a fitness app to make short bursts of exercise into intense bursts of exercise that really benefit you.
The app I use is called Aaptiv, it’s an audio fitness app. It’s got a couple of thousand workouts of varying lengths, where a personal trainer talks you through the workout.
When I’m up to my eyes with work I tend to do two or three 10 minute workouts spread out during my working day.
The music is pretty good on all the workouts, it’s not the usual pumping beats that you get at the gym.
It took me a bit of time to get used to using an audio fitness app, I had been using video apps, but I prefer having audio now.
Listening to the workout on audio frees me up to really focus on what I’m doing and feels much more like the personal trainer is there with you.
4. Stop and drop minute
Now this is for when you really don’t have any spare moments – or feel like you don’t.
It’s for those times when you’re strung out working on a project and you can’t get your head around stepping away for it for longer than a couple of minutes.
This is when you go for a stop and drop minute.
My stop and drop go to exercises are:
- squats – as many as you can do in one minute
- plank – try and hold for one minute or do two shorter holds
- downward dog – nothing stretches your whole body out better than a nice, restorative yogic downward dog. There’s a great ‘Downward Dog Breakdown’ 9 minute session on the app that talks you through doing a downward dog
- Steps-ups – I use the bottom step or our stairs and go for it for a minute
5. Set a timer to get up to move
Sitting down all day is really bad for your body, you slump into a bad posture for hours at a time and it slows your metabolism, which affects the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and break down body fat.
It’s also not good for your eyes to be staring unblinkingly at a screen for hours on end.
So set a timer to remind yourself to at least get up and stretch.
I tend to make sure I’m up and moving once per hour, even if it’s just standing up and stretching.
I also stand up every time I speak to someone on the phone, which is admittedly increasingly infrequently, but it is a good excuse to get up and move when it does happen.
6. Get some fresh air
One of the downsides from working at home is not having water cooler moments. In other words, no time to clear your head, vent or divert your mind for a few minutes.
So create your own water cooler moments by going for a walk around the block.
It’s amazing how much better you feel even after a short, five or ten minute, walk.
Use your walk to clear your mind, if meditation isn’t for you, focus on being really present whilst you walk. Take in your surroundings, look up, look around, look down.
7. Find an exercise buddy
Finding a fellow work from home person to buddy up with is a great way to motivate yourself to exercise more.
I started going to the gym with a friend six months ago and it has changed my whole relationship with exercise.
We tend to go straight after the school run, which gets my main burst of exercise done before my working day starts.
My commitment to maintaining an exercise schedule has gone up and my fitness levels are through the roof.
So there you have it, seven easy things you can do and changes you can make to make sure that you stay active when you work from home.
I hope you’ve found this post useful and that you’re ready to start making the changes that you need to make today.
Please do check out my other Wellness posts if you’re looking for other ways to improve your health and wellbeing.
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Luci is the founder of Mums Make Lists. She has written about all aspects of organising family life for ten years. Her main areas of expertise are family finance and budgeting, simplifying housekeeping and family admin and kids’ party planning. Read more.