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Working from home has so many benefits. Too many to count really. You don’t have to commute, waste time in meetings, deal with annoying colleagues, or buy formal workwear. I recently wrote a blog post about the challenges of working from home. One of the challenges I struggle with is how to stay active while working from home as sometimes working from home can lead to a decrease in your activity levels.
When you work outside the home, you have to leave the house every day and commute to work. For some of you, this means that you walk to work or the train station. Maybe you cycle to work. You might be used to exercising before or after work at your workplace’s onsite gym or exercise classes.
When you switch to working from home, your daily commute gets a lot shorter. You just have to roll out of bed, and there you are at your desk. You will have lost access to the onsite exercise facilities of your old workplace. And you don’t really have that many excuses to go outside.
Related reading: 3 Ways Meal Planning Can Improve Your Work-at-Home Life
You need to make a conscious decision to stay healthy when you make this transition to working from home. Here are some tips to help you out.
Why is it important to stay active when you work from home?
- Improves your concentration
- Helps you sleep better
- Gives you an excuse to get out of the house
- Stops you from feeling isolated if you attend exercise classes or Meetup groups
1—Schedule exercise into your day
It’s easy to put exercise on the back burner when you’re busy starting a new business from home or freelancing. You’ll have a million and one things on your to-do list, and you’ll feel guilty about taking time away from work tasks. But if you get sick or burned out from overworking, you’ll be no good to your clients. You need to schedule time for exercising, just like you would your work tasks.
2—Spend time outdoors
My number one struggle at the moment is getting outdoors every day. I have a bad habit of not leaving the house for days. That was acceptable in the depths of the Toronto winter, but spring is here now, and it’s time to get outdoors.
Getting a bit of fresh air has so many benefits for your health. It makes you feel happier and helps clear your mind. It aids digestion and strengthens your immune system. Good Relaxation talks about these benefits in more detail.
Are you struggling to make yourself go outside?
Here are some great ways to get out:
- Go for a walk to your local park or hiking trail.
- Run errands like going to the grocery store, post office, or bank.
- Join Meetup groups for your favorite hobby. I’m part of a photography group that meets every week. We walk around for a couple of hours taking photos, so we get plenty of fresh air and exercise, but it doesn’t even feel like exercise.
- Join a running or hiking group.
- Attend an exercise class like Zumba. Not usually outdoors, but its lots of fun and a great way to meet people!
3—How to stay active when you can’t go outdoors
If you live somewhere that has long, cold winters like I do, or you don’t live near any nice parks or hiking trails, you can still stay active. There are plenty of ways to get some exercise while staying indoors.
When I was in the process of losing weight a couple of years ago, I increased the amount of exercise I was doing. I’m not really a gym kind of person. I feel too shy and uncomfortable exercising in front of other people. So I decided to exercise at home.
Setting up a mini home gym can be inexpensive. All you need is a set of dumbbells, a yoga mat, and a couple of exercise DVDs.
I bought a couple of exercise DVDs to help me. DVDs are the perfect way to push yourself without feeling embarrassed about how sweaty and out of breath you are. My favorite exercise DVD is Davina McCall’s 7 Minute Fit. That might not sound like a long time, but each of the 7-minute workouts is super tough, and you definitely build up a sweat. (Yuck. This is the last time I’m saying sweat in this blog post!) If you’re not from the UK or Ireland, you mightn’t be that familiar with Davina. If you’re more familiar with Jillian Michaels, she has a DVD called 10-Minute Body Transformation as well.
Exercising with a small set of dumbbells is a great way to tone up your arms, chest, and back. Start off with a lighter weight and increase once you feel comfortable lifting a heavier one. This set from Amazon is perfect because it comes with 3 different weights and a stand to store them on so that they don’t get in your way.
Since sweeping the floor wouldn’t be my favorite household chore, I also invested in a yoga mat. I find it more comfortable to use a yoga mat than lie directly on the floor. It also stops me from slipping, and I don’t have to come face-to-face with all the dust down there!
Don’t forget to stay hydrated! Keep a bottle of water beside you at all times. You’ll need to rehydrate after all the (not saying the word!) you’re doing. 😊
4—Incorporate movement into your daily life
Sitting down for 7 or 8 hours a day isn’t really that good for your health. Sitting is the new smoking after all! It has been linked to an increased risk of cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
One way you could reduce these risks is to invest in a standing desk. A standing desk will also stop you from slouching or hunching over your keyboard and improve your posture.
Take regular breaks. If you struggle to remember to take breaks, set a timer to go off every hour. Get up and walk around the room for a couple of minutes. Get a glass of water or take a bathroom break. You should be aiming for 10,000 steps a day. It would be nearly impossible to guess how many steps you take on your own, so consider investing in a Fitbit to track your steps. I know I certainly don’t take 10,000 steps a day. This is something I need to work on.
Use household chores as an excuse to get moving. Stick on some music and really go for it when you’re sweeping or vacuuming. Check out this post from Clean Eating with Kids that shows you 13 ways to burn calories while doing household chores!
Related Content: How to Achieve the Perfect Work-Life Balance When You Work from Home
Do you find it hard to stay active when you work from home? What do you do to keep fit? Leave a comment down below!
Looking for a way to start your work-at-home dream life? Check this out!
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