Before, your step counter recorded thousands of steps per day. Today, there are barely a hundred. Your back may be a little more tense and painful than usual. Your gym is closed. You are not allowed to run in the park. So what to do?
You may have thought that we had covered all the topics related to working from home, but we have yet to address one of the most important: physical health and sports activity. We’re not doctors, but we have many years of experience in surviving and thriving working from home.
Here are our ten key ways to help you improve your fitness and get even fitter than before.
- You bought sports equipment, now is the time to use it! It’s amazing how many people store weight machines, stationary bikes, dumbbells and a whole host of other equipment in their basement or garage, never using them. Stop letting them gather dust and start doing squats.
- If you don’t have gym equipment, go to Google and type in “how to create a home gym with everyday items”. You will be surprised to see that water bottles, elastic objects, furniture and even brooms are the delight of creative and resourceful athletes. Give it a shot.
- Meet up with a few friends over a videoconference and organize a group exercise session during lunch break or before work. Some people are more motivated when they are with other people and are committed to group exercise. If that’s not possible, there are countless exercise videos you can follow on YouTube, for example.
- Pay attention to your posture when working from home. Back pain and tight hips can be caused by spending long hours on your laptop, with your back bent, or working in poor posture. Your plush couch is great for relaxing and watching a movie, but not for working. You could even work standing up: some say this position leads to better posture, while burning more calories than sitting.
- Be careful not to spend hours on a task or project when you telecommute. If you are unwilling to exercise for whatever reason, consider getting up, moving around, and doing different stretches. You don’t have to be a yoga expert to experience the benefits of stretching your neck, shoulders, back, chest, legs, and more. After your stretching session, you might feel as rested as if you just slept through an eight-hour night!
- Going for a walk, when the conditions are safe and when it is allowed, is a good way to exercise, get a breath of fresh air (hopefully) and empty yourself the head. You could take your dog out once more during the day or take it for a walk before work, at lunch or at the end of the day. Use Google Maps to plan the duration and distance of your walk in your neighborhood and choose different routes so you don’t get bored.
- Don’t hesitate to walk around your house, inside or in your garden (if you have one), when you are on a long conference call. Every step and movement you take counts and is better than being sedentary. Just be careful not to stray too far from your WiFi range and disrupt your work interactions.
- Diet, of course, goes hand in hand with exercise. See telecommuting as an opportunity to avoid fast food, heavy restaurant meals and other unhealthy options. Sure, that’s easier said than done, but if you start working from home, you now have more freedom to plan your meals for the day or week. Hopefully, you’ll eat better and be healthier.
- You will inevitably be tempted by snacking. And this universal temptation can be even stronger when working from home. After all, the kitchen is right next door. You don’t even have to go to the cafeteria or the bakery and spend the money. Dietitians advise limiting the number of snacks in your cupboards (of course!) and always having much healthier raw fruits and vegetables on hand to satisfy your snacking cravings.
- Pay attention to the balance between your body and your mind, and to your well-being. Schedule times for physical activity and stick to them. Being confined at home for long periods of time can be stressful, especially when opportunities outside are, for the time being, limited or eliminated. Do your best and be as positive as possible.
One last tip: think about doing an activity, like playing a musical instrument (or learning to play a new instrument), or a hobby that appeals to your mind, your body and your creativity. . It can be gardening, painting, wood carving or pottery after work or during the weekend. Even activities that require only manual dexterity can re-energize you and help you maintain balance between your body and mind during stressful times.