Five Ways to Stay Fit When You Work From Home
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It took a recent family event (and my perusal of the photos after that event) to make me face facts that I have put on some pounds. Sure, there were plenty of other tell-tale signs. Like, my energy level had dropped significantly. And, some of my clothes didn’t fit right or seemed really constricting (especially my dressier clothes, which, due to my work at home arrangement, I don’t wear as often).
In my case, I am often sitting at my desk, pecking away at my keyboard for hours on end. By the end of the day, I will realize that I barely got up for bathroom breaks. I went from a sedentary desk job in an office to an even more sedentary desk job 15 steps away from my bedroom (or from my kitchen, as “luck” would have it).
In my attempts to make a conscious effort to improve my fitness, I compiled the following five tips for work at home women who want to stay fit.
Eat away from your desk.
I think this will be a hard habit to break. I ALWAYS eat at my desk. There are several problems with this. Firstly, by eating at my desk, I am eating unconsciously and not really taking the time to enjoy my food. Secondly, I am also missing a valuable opportunity to relax and recharge.
Plan your food ahead.
I used to do this every Sunday evening to economize and maintain a more healthy diet when I worked in an out-of-home office setting. But, I have moved away from this with the rationale that I have a wide array of healthy choices in my kitchen right at my fingertips at any time, so why should I take the extra time to plan out my meals. However, the opposite has proven true. Sure, there are lots of delicious, healthy food options in my home, but, I have found that there are also plenty of unhealthy choices that are quick and convenient in the moment, too. Pre-planning helps me stay on track and actually saves me the time I would normally spend scavenging the kitchen for something to eat.
Look for opportunities throughout the day to get up and move.
This is probably one of the largest problems I face as a work at home woman. I do not need to really physically travel to work. In the midst of my day, I do not need to move to talk to colleagues, get something off the printer, make a copy, etc. I can do all of that from my contained, little home office bubble. But, this sedentary lifestyle is not helping me stay fit– in mind, body or spirit. Our flexible work arrangements give us the perfect opportunity to take 10 minutes and go for a quick walk. Some people do some push ups, sit ups, or squats every couple of hours. Or, it can be as easy as getting up every hour or two to refill your water bottle and/or visit the bathroom.
Along the same lines as the last point, it is really important to exercise daily. I have some friends who utilize their lunch hours each day to work out 30 minutes and then eat lunch (away from their desks) during the last 30 minutes. If I worked in a traditional office setting, I would have to commute to and from work each day. As a work at home woman, why not use that time to work out each morning or evening?
Consider some alternatives for your home office.
There are stand up desks (where your computer screen/keyboard height allows you to work while standing for all or part of the day), treadmill desks (not only stand, but walk, if even at a slow pace, while you work), stability balls in place of traditional office chairs (work your core, lower back, legs), hands-free headsets (so you can easily walk around during conference calls) and much more. Tools like these that will allow you to keep active in some way throughout the day are sure to pay off.
So, tell us, how do you stay fit while working at home? What has kept you active or motivated? Any other tips you’d pass along?
Christy Schutz, is a communications professional and freelance writer focused on topics like employer/personal branding, career management, personal development, women in the workplace, and female entrepreneurs. She enjoys putting 16+ years of experience in the advertising, recruitment marketing, employee/internal communications and special events industries to good use by helping others to discover, develop and market their own distinct calling or mission. This Tampa Bay, FL-based Mom also keeps herself busy by raising 4 kids, caring for her husband & doting on her dogs Petey and Daisy!