Sitting at a desk all day is not good for the waistline. This is especially true if you keep a bag of snacks on your desk. Working from home can lead you to getting less exercise. Even little things like you’re not walking from the car to the office can make an impact.
When you work from home, you need to be mindful that you are actively trying to stay active. It can be easy to fall into the routine to go from bed straight to your office and then to the kitchen and back until you’ve finished work. Keeping fit and active is very important, not only for your body and health, but also to help your brain.
Keeping fit can help with energy, reduce stress and increase productivity, all things that are useful for both work and life. But if you’re working from home, sometimes space can be limited. So here are some quick and easy exercises for when you work from home.
Remember, if you haven’t exercised lately it’s always good to visit your doctor and have a check-up before you start a new exercise regimen.
Easy exercises for working from home
There are many exercises you can do to get you away from your desk. If you’ve read how to maintain your focus, you’ll know one suggestion is to set a timer for your work and then to get up and do something different. Exercises and stretching in between tasks is a great way to keep active and also help your brain while your working. Every 45min to an hour get up from your desk and do 10 squats, 5 push-ups or a minute plank and you’ll feel the difference at the end of the day.
Here are a few simple exercises to keep you moving.
Squats work the legs and help strengthen the lower back, which is good if you are sitting for long periods of time. They also make you use your core and are fantastic for your glutes.
- Run on the spot
Cardio helps get your blood pumping around your body which helps you stay alert. Jogging on the spot is a great way to take a quick break from your desk and get some cardio. It only takes 1-2 minutes to get your heart pumping quick.
Planks can help improve your posture, core strength and stability. You can do either a high plank with your arms straight or a low plank where you are resting on your elbows and lower arms.
Push-ups are an effective exercise if you want to build strength. They work the upper body and shoulders, but if done properly also strengthen your core and back. They can also be modified to your fitness level. There are many push-up challenges you can try that work you up to doing 20, 50 or even 100 push-ups a day.
Lunges help your balance, stability and mobility. Lunges also helps strengthen your back, hips and legs.
Activities to keep fit working from home
The beauty of working from home is that you have no commute! This can give you time back that you can use towards keeping fit and active.
If you’re like many of us, you already have a piece of exercise equipment like a treadmill or exercise bike sitting in the corner of your bedroom with clothes hanging on it. Take the clothes off and get on it yourself. Do this every day for at least a month. By that time you’ll have made it a habit. Decide how long you’re going to walk or bicycle and stick to that time. You could even do it watching the TV.
At least once a day, when you can, get out and walk, jog or ride a bicycle. The sunshine and fresh air will help your mood. Plus, walking releases natural endorphins.
Take a couple of afternoons off to play tennis with a friend, go swimming or take an exercise class. It will give you some social time as well as exercise.
Step aerobics or Yoga can be done with low-cost or even no equipment and a limited amount of space. Get on YouTube and search for instructional videos. There are heaps on there.
Can’t afford an exercise machine? Buy a jump rope or run in place to get your heart rate going. Go crazy in the back yard.
High intensity training is an effective way to get a good workout in a short amount of time. You exercise in high gear for a few minutes, then go slow for a couple of minutes. You repeat this cycle several times. Don’t use this method until you’ve been exercising for a while, though.
When You Need a Snack…
The first exercise you need to do is taking the sugar-loaded snacks to the trash. When you’re working from home it is very tempting to always snack (especially as you are so close to the kitchen) and you will be consuming calories without even thinking about what you’re doing.
Drink more water as well. When you’re thirsty it often feels like hunger, so you’ll eat. Soft drinks are packed with sugar and diet soda is packed with chemicals. Plus, those who drink diet drinks often complain of feeling hungry all the time. Stick with water or green tea. Put some sliced lemons or lime in the water if you need to add some taste.
When you need a snack, have some fruit, pumpkin seeds or some raw nuts. Eat protein and fibre with your meals so you won’t be hungry thirty minutes later.
Make sure the calories you eat are providing you with nutrients and not empty calories. More veggies, lean protein, and some fruit is as easy as it gets. If you eat too few calories, your metabolism will slow down and you’ll be unable to burn fat, so don’t veer too far in either direction.
Don’t let sitting at a desk all day ruin your health. Get up and move today.