7 Tips to Combat an Inactive Lifestyle At Home
Remote working opportunities boomed amid the onset of the 2020 COVID pandemic, and as the workplace continues to change and evolve, one thing remains certain – it doesn’t seem as if remote working is going away any time soon!
Working from the comfort of your own home offers a host of enticing benefits, from decreased commute times to greater independence throughout the day. Unfortunately, though, remote working isn’t always a walk in the park – literally. Along with all those great benefits comes the increasing tendency towards a sedentary lifestyle.
We all know that too much sitting isn’t good for our health, but just how bad is it? Consider this: people who are sedentary for long periods of time throughout the day are more likely to experience health concerns such as high blood pressure, lower metabolism and weight gain, heart disease and muscle pain.
Luckily for all you home-workers, there are plenty of things you can do to combat a sedentary lifestyle even when you’re working from home. With a little patience, self-discipline and these seven helpful tips, you can boost your physical health and get some exercise in, even when you’re on the clock.
1. Invest in an adjustable desk
If you spend long periods of time at a computer, you may want to consider investing in an adjustable desk to help combat the pitfalls of sitting all day. There are plenty of sit/stand desks available, from full furniture items to small and affordable adjustment pieces that can sit atop your current desk without a fuss.
Be sure that your adjustable desk can reach the proper height (i.e. you can comfortably reach the keyboard while standing straight), and remember to maintain the proper posture while seated as well. Switch from sitting to standing multiple times throughout your workday for maximum effect.
2. Set a routine and stick to it.
It is hard to receive the benefits of exercise if you don’t make time for it – so make some time!
Set aside a designated part of your day for a more comprehensive exercise routine, whether that be a morning jog or a post-workout gym adventure.
Once you have found an ideal time to exercise, protect it. Treat your workout routine with the same respect as you would a scheduled meeting.
3. Make it a point to move
One of the biggest problems with working from home isn’t the amount of sitting. It’s the amount of uninterrupted sitting. Staying sedentary for long periods of time just isn’t healthy, and yes, even if you worked out that morning.
Set a timer that reminds you to move occasionally, whether that be every 20 minutes or every 60 minutes. Even just a small jog to the kitchen for a glass of water is good for you. You can also try doing a few push-ups or star jumps, or even taking a speed walk around the neighbourhood or doing a few stretches in your backyard. No matter what you choose to do, the most important part is that you’re doing it.
4. Suggest active meetings
Meeting with a client or coworker? Why not ditch the lunch date and instead opt for a walk through the park or a visit to the garden (weather permitting, of course)? Not only will this help you stay up and active, but enjoying the great outdoors is a proven recipe for increased inspiration and lower stress levels.
Even if you aren’t meeting with anyone in person, you can still get some steps throughout the day if you take to walking during phone calls or conferences (provided they aren’t video conferences).
5. Get creative around the house.
Maybe you’re avoiding exercise because you don’t feel comfortable at the gym and just can’t stand the thought of running. That’s okay! You might be surprised to learn that you can do plenty of exercises from the comfort of your own home – even the comfort of your own home office.
Get some good, deep stretching in with a yoga or Pilates workout, or try out some bodyweight exercises (i.e. push-ups, sit-ups, star jumps, planks, squats, etc.) to get your heart beating and blood pumping. Interested in lifting some weight? No need for a gym membership or workout equipment. There are plenty of items lying around your home that will do the trick. Pick up a stack of heavy books, lift a jug of laundry detergent or do some bicep curls with a few heavy bottles or cans.
6. Be accountable to someone else
Forming new habits can be difficult to do on your own. Why not partner up to make it easier? Find someone who will help you hold yourself accountable to your exercise goals, whether that be a close friend, family member or even an online group. There are plenty of apps, blogs and groups that have been created with this purpose in mind, so find one that’s a good fit and see what happens. You may also want to get some of your own colleagues involved, and together, you can work on a healthier future from your own homes.
7. Be realistic with yourself
While the above tips are all well and good, one of the best things you can do to increase your physical activity while working from home is to be patient and realistic. Leaving behind a sedentary lifestyle isn’t going to happen all at once – it takes work.
It’s important to set realistic goals one at a time so you don’t feel overwhelmed and burned out before you can enjoy the benefits of an active lifestyle. For example, rather than promising you’ll go on an hour-long run every morning before work, start off with a small walk around the neighbourhood instead and see how things go.
Choose activities and exercises that you enjoy and remember that you won’t be 100% perfect every day and that’s okay.
Say goodbye to sedentary workdays
Increasing your activity during the workday should not add more stress to your life. In fact, it should do the opposite.
Becoming more active is just one of the many great changes that you can incorporate into your workday, whether you’re working from home or not. Not only will it make a huge difference to your physical health, but it can also do wonders for your mental health. In other words, a win-win situation!
So there you have it, 7 useful tips to ensure you stay active and fit while working from the comfort of your own home.
For more helpful tips check out the lifestyle section of Magazine World.