For many, working from home has become the norm and might not change anytime soon.
Chances are that change in lifestyle did more than eliminate your daily commute. It’s also affected how much you move throughout the day, whether it’s full-fledged workouts or the amount of walking that used to be part of your daily life.
Those of you with a step counter have no doubt seen the evidence. Working from home means sitting in the same spot for much of the day only a few steps from anything you might need. That means you’re missing out on those daily bursts of activity from walking to your favorite coffee shop or even the office kitchen, heading out to lunch with friends or trekking across the building to chat with a coworker in person.
If you haven’t already done so, it’s past time to adjust your daily routine so that it includes regular physical activity. While you might be used to hitting the gym near your office or meeting up with coworkers for a lunchtime run or after-work walk, there are other ways to squeeze in your workouts.
In fact, getting exercise might be even more convenient now than before. Here are some easy strategies to help you get enough exercise even when you are working remotely.
Put yourself in your schedule
We all know the benefits of prioritizing our work days. Making a to-do list helps us stay on track and accomplish what we need to get done. It’s the same with exercise.
Once you use your daily schedule to draw clear lines between work time and personal time, you’ve got an open window of time to slot healthy activities. Sticking to your schedule each day is a way to guarantee you are making time for yourself.
If your personal time includes family, make sure your group outings revolve around physical activities. This could be a hike on a nearby trail, a trip to the beach for swimming and dune-climbing, or an after-dinner bike ride.
Start your day with a workout
One of the big perks that comes with working remotely is having flexibility in how you set your schedule. Time you used to spend on your morning commute can now be used to give you a leg up on staying healthy.
Deciding to start your day with a workout has long-lasting positive effects. An early-morning exercise session will leave you feeling energized and boost your metabolism for up to an hour after your workout, research has shown.
It’s also a great mental hurdle to jump over first thing in the morning. Once you’re finished, you can turn your attention to starting your workday without the worry of wondering when you’re going to make time for exercise.
Turn your breaks into mini-workouts
Breaks are an important part of the day when you are working from home. Each morning and afternoon, taking a mental break from your work allows you a 15 to 20-minute respite to clear your head and focus on something else.
By turning your break into a mini workout or stretching session, you’re multitasking in a healthy way. Search online for 15-minute workouts that target your arms, abs or legs. These are typically a series of easy exercises you can do anywhere with makeshift weights or no equipment at all.
You could also download some quick workout apps on your phone that you can take outside with you if the weather allows. If you’d rather go tech-free, spend your breaks outside taking a walk or a short bike ride.
People with home gym equipment could also hop on a treadmill for 20 minutes while they listen to their favorite music. And if you have a set of stairs in your home, you have a readymade stair-climber. No matter how you get moving, the fact that you did it will allow you to head back to your desk feeling refreshed.
Invite friends and family to meet you for a workout
Working from home doesn’t mean you can’t meet your besties for a workout. Downtowns, parks, bike paths and area nature trails are all great places to meet for exercise while you practice responsible social distancing.
If you can’t meet up with friends and family for some in-person exercise, take your workouts to the virtual realm. Set up a video chat with one or more friends while you run through a string of sit-ups, squats, push-ups and planks.
Afterward, stick around for a cool-down chat. Making it a group activity helps keep you accountable. Plus, staying in touch with friends and family is good for your mental health—it’s a win-win.
Keep a stash of nutritious snacks on hand
While you are juggling a remote work schedule with your fitness routine and personal time, make sure to keep plenty of healthy and nutritious foods on hand to keep you fueled up for this new kind of schedule.
Your grocery list should include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and fiber-rich foods You should also keep a stash of nutritious snacks on hand to avoid making bad poor choices when the hunger hits, especially before or after your workout.
Protein-packed items are especially important for your daily exercise efforts as protein helps your muscles recover.
You could keep a ready supply of XS™ Protein Crisps if you prefer something salty. But if you want something sweeter, the XS™ brand has protein shakes, protein pods and protein bars that are super convenient and will hit the spot.
A little creativity and a commitment to making exercise part of your routine will help you stay physically healthy no matter what your work environment looks like.
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