7 Expert Tips for Staying in Shape While Working from Home
Today, the new normal includes millions of Americans working from home. Gyms across the country are either closed or slowly reopening. Even if you don’t have a fancy home gym, you can still stay fit.
People just need to get creative with their daily workouts. Thankfully, warm weather is just around the corner, so here are some tips to help you stay in shape while working from home.
The Pros and Cons of Working from Home
Working from home allows you the flexibility and freedom to create the routine you want with a better work-life balance. You can take care of your pets and work in a comfortable space with no co-workers.
But it’s not for everyone. In fact, working from home can be distracting unless you set boundaries. The kids may barge into your office, and sometimes it’s hard to focus on what you need to do. With the television in the next room, it’s tempting to just sit on the couch for a quick break to watch TV.
It’s easy to choose to veg on the sofa instead of preparing healthy meals and working out. Since there are so many opportunities to stray from a healthy routine, it’s extremely important to create structure in your life.
Take Breaks to Eat
It may sound odd to start this article with advice about eating more food, but eating habits are critical when you work from home. Most people think it would be easy to eat healthily when you work in a room next to the kitchen, but that’s not always the case.
It’s important to prep snacks and meals for the day, especially if you stay busy. It’s easy to miss meals when you become caught up in your work. Missing meals can lead to overeating later.
Schedule breaks and lunch into your day and stock your house with healthy foods. Meal prep ahead of time to cut down on the time it takes to prepare meals during the workday. Stock the fridge with nourishing food you can grab when you get busy. Pre-portion healthy snacks like fruit, nuts, and hummus. Also, limit sugary foods and refined carbs.
Schedule Workout Time on Your Calendar
It’s easy to fall into the routine of skipping your workouts. So, put workouts on your schedule just as you would a meeting or project. People often assume that just because they’re home, they’ll work out.
Exercising has many benefits like:
- Helping people relax and sleep.
- Improved self-esteem for people suffering from depression and anxiety.
- Increased productivity.
Go for a Day Hike on the Weekend
Changing your environment is the perfect way to relieve stress while getting exercise. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not make it a weekend camping trip? Take the family with you or make it a solo hike to refresh. Either way, hiking is the perfect exercise to get you ready for the next work week.
Dehydration is a serious threat, even when the water faucet is in the next room. You get caught up in tasks and the next thing you know, you’ve had nothing but coffee all day. Dehydration can lead to headaches and fatigue, which seriously decreases your productivity. Experts say you should take your weight in pounds, divide it in half and drink that number in ounces of water.
Develop a Ritual to End Your Day
Treat your work from home job like any traditional job. When you went into your office, you packed up at the end of the day and left work behind you. At home, it’s good to set up a separate office so you can close the door (literally or figuratively) at the end of the workday.
When you work out of your home, it can be tempting to sneak into your office and work a little bit after dinner. But you need to try to leave work in your office. Shut the door at the end of the workday. Create a shutdown routine that signals the end of the day. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Simply shutting your laptop and putting it away signals work time is over. It also helps you shift from answering emails to enjoying time with family and friends.
Join an Online Exercise Class
Right now, many gyms and studios are shut down, but not completely. A lot of them are now offering online classes. Sign up for an online yoga class or other online classes. It also helps you remain accountable so that you aren’t as tempted to skip your workouts.
You can even make it a family activity and include everyone in the family for fun. It encourages everyone to be active and get involved with physical fitness.
Bring the Gym Home
If you can’t go to the gym, bring the gym home. You don’t need a dedicated room with tons of machines and weights. You can just use everyday household items that you already have at home to workout.
Soup cans or books can double as small weights, and you can turn a folding chair into a bench for dips. Your beach towel makes a great yoga mat and you can use a paper plate as a slider.
If you don’t want to follow along with a cardio workout video, use your stairs instead. You can even use laundry detergent or a gallon of milk as a kettlebell.
Need to do some yard work? Digging with a shovel gives you the same workout as unilateral training.
Whether you’re sheltering inside or trying to save money on a gym membership, you can find alternative ways to exercise. Get the whole family involved by going hiking or camping, and remember that simple, household items can help you stay in shape while working from home.