Owing to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, working from home has become the norm rather than the exception. With the way things are going, this situation is quite likely to persist. Now there are two basic problems people face while working from home. One is that they don’t work as much as they did, and the other is that they overwork, oftentimes at the cost of their health. So, you might be wondering – How do I stay fit at my desk? What are some ways to workout while working? Here we give you 10 tips to stay fit while working from home.
1. Set aside a specific workspace
Turn your spare room into an office, or create a space (even a desk will do) that will serve as a workspace. This can be in your kitchen, your bedroom, or your living room – it doesn’t really matter where. What matters is that it shouldn’t be a place you typically associate with relaxation. Having a dedicated workspace ensures that you go into work mode only when you are there and switch out of that once your workday is done.
2. Invest in an ergonomic chair
Buy yourself a comfortable, ergonomically designed chair that will keep your back supported throughout the day. This will also help you avoid a stiff neck at the end of the day, relieve hip pressure, and improve blood circulation – all of which help you stay productive. Another slightly unorthodox option is to sit on an exercise stability ball for short periods throughout the day. This will help boost your core strength and offers an easy way to work out while working.
3. Set an alert for fitness breaks
Try and build fitness breaks into your work schedule. Plan and schedule some home office workout routines. Use a Fitbit or your smartphone to set alerts for short fitness breaks during your work hours. Don’t ignore these alerts – use them as a signal to stretch those muscles that have cramped after sitting for so long. Remember, regular physical activity helps you destress and sleep better too.
4. Take a proper lunch break
Don’t eat lunch while sitting in front of your computer. You don’t do that at work, so why should you do that at home? Taking a lunch break is also more healthy- it helps you focus on what you are eating, which stops you from overeating and gives your brain a much-needed breather.
5. Keep healthy snacks around
It’s quite tempting to grab a few crisps and chocolates while you’re working from home. And, before you know it, you’re piling on the pounds. So, keep your workspace free of junk food and unhealthy snacks. Instead, stock up on fruits, protein bars, and health drinks or smoothies. This is probably one of the easiest and most effective ways of staying fit while working from home.
6. Walk around during meetings
Any easy way to stay fit while working from home is by walking around during work calls and meetings. If you’re on a call that doesn’t need you to be in front of your laptop or on video, walk around your home. This not only gives your tired eyes a screen-break, but it’s also a great way to work off some calories during the workday. To help you with this, it might be a good idea to invest in a handsfree headset. This leaves your hands free to do other things (even lift a dumbbell or two) while you’re on your call.
7. Use easily available items at home to exercise
Take a few 5 or 10-minute breaks to run up and down your stairs or just walk around your house. Water your plants, play for a while with your pets, or even pull out a yoga mat and do some simple stretches. Look around for ways to work out, and you are sure to spot many mundane household items that can be used to help you do easy workouts from home.
8. Dress for work
Yeah, we can imagine your disbelief. While it may be tempting to crawl out of bed to your laptop in your jammies, it’s not the best thing for productivity. We’re not asking you to dress to the nines in formal wear, but take a shower and throw on some real clothes! It’s okay if you’re just in socks or sneakers, but changing from sleepwear helps in building a sense of routine, and gets you in the right mind space.
9. Drink a lot of water
Good old H2O may not be the most glamorous beverage out there, but it sure is the most important one for your health. Its numerous benefits include helping you maintain healthy body weight. Water is also a natural appetite suppressant and can prevent you from overeating. Substituting sugary energy drinks with water may help you keep your weight in check. It’s as simple as that, folks- don’t forget to hydrate.
10. Create a shutdown ritual
This is probably the most important part – in your usual office setting, you know it’s the end of the workday when you pack up your stuff and go home. But when you’re already at home, the line between work and home time can get obscured. You must not allow your workday to seep into your before and after work time just because you are at home. That’s why it’s important to build a routine that signals the end of the workday and lets you step away from emails and work assignments at the same time. Your shutdown routine can be something as minor as closing your laptop and putting it out of sight, or doing something more like a workout, or leaving your home and going out for a walk.
The most important aspect of working from home is to maintain that perfect work-life balance – one that helps you finish your work assignments well on time while living a completely healthy and happy life. You don’t need to let the comfort and coziness of being at home get in the way of your success at work or your wellbeing. By planning and arranging your home and work activities and setting physical and mental boundaries, you can create a healthy balance that will help you stay fit while working at home.