November 10, 2020
The potential for remote work to be highly sedentary has been a concern since before the COVID-19 pandemic. But with many offices closed until at least the middle of 2021, it’s important to find ways to weave healthy habits into your workday. So we’ve got some fitness tips for helping you be more active and enjoy a healthier WFH lifestyle.
Whether you love it or loathe it, working remotely or working from home comes with a solid list of pros and cons. Gaining hours of sleep back that had been spent getting ready and commuting? Rolling out of bed to join a Zoom meeting? Major pros. Feeling the lines between work life and home life blur into obscurity? Con, for sure.
While it’s nice to not have to leave the house or apartment, working from home often means sitting at the computer for hours upon hours. It gets easier to sit longer every day without moving. Settling into a sedentary routine quickly becomes a health risk.
A few relatively small changes in your eating, drinking and other behaviors can yield potentially life-changing health benefits. Find healthier diet and exercise habits that work for you and then incorporate them into your routine.
That means scheduling time and reminders throughout the day for breaks, healthy snacks and physical activity. The hard part is often knowing what to do. That’s why we’re here to help with some fitness tips and ideas to get you started.
And, of course, please consult your physician when considering a new physical activity or changing your diet.
1. Take walks and get your steps in
Whether you get out for a brisk walk with your canine or feline officemate or head out on your own, get up and get moving. It’s easy to get wrapped up in knocking out your to-do list, so setting a timer or reminders may be helpful.
Although it’s not always possible, having a schedule and getting into a routine makes it easier to maintain your date with your walking shoes. Of course, your pet’s eager stare at walk time will help get you moving, too.
2. Do yoga in your living room
If you haven’t done yoga before, it might seem too light to count as physical activity. After all, it’s a relaxation and meditation exercise, right? Not so fast. Give yoga a try and you’ll quickly find out that it’s incredibly physically challenging, too.
Try one of the many free yoga classes online and see what it’s all about. Just make sure to find yoga lessons for beginners. It might help to learn more about yoga so you go into it with a better understanding of what it is, what it does and how to approach it. Maybe it’s for you and maybe it’s not. Either way, yoga is a sure way to get more fit at home.
3. Do resistance training
Whether you use resistance bands or use your own body weight, resistance training offers several health benefits. Push-ups, squats, crunches and planks are all effective exercises you can do without spending a penny on equipment. Walking up and down stairs is another option. And you can find affordable resistance bands or even some light weights rather easily.
4. Start a workout routine in your own home
Workout routines have been available online for years. But, as with many activities, the selection and availability of virtual workout programs have blossomed to meet increased demand and the lack of in-person programs since the start of the pandemic.
5. Do high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts
It may seem like you have to spend hours at the gym with weight machines and other exercise equipment to see actual results. However, many high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts help you get both resistance and cardio packed into the same workout in as little time as 15 to 20 minutes.
Some people may enjoy working out. Most people enjoy having worked out — past tense. HIIT workouts, assuming they are the right choice for you, help get you through working out to having worked out and on with your day as quickly as possible.
Find out more about free HIIT workouts from 5 to 45 minutes you can do at home.
And make sure you have the best workout recovery food and drink on hand to get the most out of your sweat equity.
6. Work at a stand-up desk
If you’re going to be at a desk for most of the day, do yourself a favor and raise it up. There are plenty of health benefits of working at a standing desk to make a compelling case for getting your butt out of that chair.
Whether you make your own DIY standing desk, find an extension that sits on top of your existing desk or just buy a taller desk, standing rather than sitting is not only better for you in terms of burning calories and healthier circulation in your legs, it makes it easier to keep moving. Walk in place. Do calf raises. Stretch your quads. All while you’re standing there reading and writing emails or listening to a Zoom presentation.
7. Practice self-care
Getting up and moving and taking care of your physical health is an important part of your overall health. Without question. Better health and fitness also includes taking care of your mental and emotional wellbeing.
A wild and unpredictable year like 2020 has made self-care even more important as we deal with new kinds of uncertainty, isolation and anxiety. Being more aware of what you’re feeling and recognizing why you’re feeling that way is a huge step toward managing your mental health.
Self-care looks different for different people. It could include setting clear and firm boundaries between work and home life or just spending the weekend reading or baking. Maybe it’s giving yourself permission to take a nap or stare at the wall for an hour. Whatever works for you.
8. Eat healthy snacks
Your diet and your gut health play a significant role in the strength of your immune system as well as your brain health. We know that eating healthy isn’t always easy, but there are lots of easy and delicious ways to improve your nutrition and your all-around health. Healthy food can taste really good.
Whether you find ways to eat more vegetables or incorporate more healthy snacks into and between your meals, healthy eating is a relatively easy change that can pay huge dividends in your short-term and long-term health.
Some quick and easy snacks and drinks to keep on-hand and have delivered when you need them include:
- Clif Bar Chocolate Chip
- RXBar Blueberry Protein Bar
- Quest Bar Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
- Red Bull Sugar Free
- Monster Energy Lo-Carb
- Monster Energy Zero Ultra
- Bolt24 Mixed Berry
- Bolt24 Watermelon Strawberry
9. Stay hydrated & drink enough water
It seems so simple that it’s easy to overlook. You don’t have to be pouring sweat or crawling through a desert to become dehydrated. It’s easy to get busy and forget to rehydrate. If it’s 3 pm and you’re suddenly feeling tired and foggy, you might be dehydrated. If you’re feeling incredibly hungry, you might be dehydrated. If you can’t remember the last time you drank a full glass of water, you’re almost definitely dehydrated.
Some easy hydration hacks to consider include:
- Keeping a water bottle nearby, especially at your desk. If you feel like snacking, try drinking some water first to see if that does the trick. You’ll stay hydrated and reduce calorie intake. Win!
- Infuse your water with fresh fruit or a splash of flavoring if you get bored with plain water.
- Drink one 8 ounce glass of water for every 8 ounces of anything else you drink.
10. Get enough sleep
Yes, this seems counterintuitive. Sleeping seems as sedentary as you can get. But getting enough sleep impacts your body and mind in many important ways. Lack of sleep has been linked to cognitive decline and other health problems. Try to get 8 hours of sleep every night and you should be good!