By Samantha Clayton, OLY, ISSA-CPT, Vice President, Worldwide Sports Performance and Fitness, Herbalife Nutrition
With many governments implementing “safer at home” policies, including work from home provisions, it’s understandable that the new disruptions to our daily routines may cause stress or anxiety. For many, working from home is a new experience, and you may find yourself plugging-in more throughout the day and missing out on essential time you should be taking for your well-being.
This is why it’s important to find creative ways to keep moving throughout the day, while you’re confined to working from your house.
Keep a Routine
Just like it’s important to have a consistent workout regimen to avoid or delay reaching a plateau in your fitness performance, it’s important to develop or stay on your “work routine” to avoid creating bad habits that will hinder your motivation.
It may be tempting to roll out of bed and work in your pajamas, but before you know it your work area will also become a mess and your habits will change. In the midst of these changes we’re going through, why add more? Stay consistent and keep a schedule– get up at the same time you would as if you were going to the office in the morning, shower, get dressed, have your coffee or tea, set up your workstation and work as you normally would. Keeping this sense of normalcy will help you stay focused on your tasks.
Ways to Fit Fitness into your Work-from-home Schedule:
Prioritize Movement for a Positive Work Environment
While you may be more concerned about getting your work done than getting a workout in, the truth is that you should always make time for a total of 30 minutes of every day. If you make it part of your schedule by adding it to your daily calendar, it will be something to look forward to in an otherwise monotonous workday.
Additionally, there’s research that has linked sitting for long periods of time with a number of health concerns such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and back pain.
Even if ‘being fit’ isn’t a priority for you, the body’s natural release of endorphins is enhanced during bouts of physical activity, which will at the very least improve your mood. And during stressful times like these, one of the greatest benefits of performing regular exercise is its ability to make the activities of everyday life feel easier.
Workout While You Work
Here are five easy exercises to do while working from home, and many don’t even require you to leave your workstation:
- Set an Alarm. At the top, middle or the end of every hour, set an alarm on your phone for a few minutes of activity. Whether you choose to do 1 minute of crunches, 60 squats or 20 push-ups—setting time to take a break from your work to get your body moving will not only help you feel stronger over time but will also help keep your energy up throughout the day.
- Stretch Your Upper Body. Warm up your muscles with upper-body stretches—raise your arms above your head, stretch until you feel it in your chest and biceps. Stretching helps to relieve stress and tight muscles.
- Take Your Calls Standing. Whether you decide to go for a walk during a call or do some squats, use this time to put your ear pods in and move. Lunges can also work your glutes and thighs. Lunge forward by dropping your hips to the floor, alternate legs.
- Seated Crunches. Work your abs while sitting in your chair. Keep your back straight and your hands behind your head, then raise your knees to your elbows, alternating legs.
- Ankle Circles. Keep your blood flowing by doing some simple ankle circles to support healthy circulation.
Don’t Forget Your Balanced Diet Food
Managing your exercise routine, consuming a healthy diet and getting enough rest are just a few great ways you can strive toward getting the best physical and emotional results. Healthy snacking throughout the day on whole fruits, sticks of string cheese and cartons of yogurt will not only keep you full but are also easy to grab when you’ve lost track of time from being plugged-in all day.
Additionally, a balanced diet with plenty of protein will keeps you feeling full so that you’re not constantly visiting the refrigerator. Don’t forget that doing work from home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep your boundaries—make sure you take this extra time at home to make time for yourself to unwind and relax.