When the COVID-19 pandemic forced a lot of people to stay indoors, they had to deal with a variety of drastic life changes all at once. To adapt to these uncertain times, many have either been forced or have chosen to start working from home in the past two years. As a result of losing the ability to go outside, a lot of people could no longer carry out their usual daily routines. Sheltering in place for so long has also caused many to fall behind on their fitness goals.
If you’re looking to pick up where you left off, but don’t know how to sneak in some exercise while you’re cooped up at home, don’t worry. We’ve put together some great tips you can use to stay active while working remotely:
Invest in Athleisure Outfits
It can be difficult to convince yourself to get your body moving for just a few minutes a day, especially when you don’t like the hassle of changing into exercise clothes. Luckily, athleisure is more accessible than ever. You can now shop leggings and shirts that are not only perfect for exercise but can also double as comfy clothes to wear in your home office.
By wearing clothes fit for both working and working out, you can easily sneak in a few repetitions or a few minutes of exercise during your short breaks. Depending on the length of your break, you can do simple moves like sit-ups or planks or even a bite-sized cardio or yoga routine.
Place Your Workout Equipment in Strategic Places
As people love to say, whatever is out of sight is also out of mind. So, you’ll want to make sure that you keep your workout equipment where you’re sure to see it.
Pick a spot next to your designated work area, and try to clear up some space for your weights or yoga mat. By keeping them somewhere easily accessible, you’ll find it easier to just walk over to your workout equipment and do a little exercise. This also encourages you to refrain from sitting all day at your desk and to do a little physical activity every few hours.
If you don’t have any room around or next to your work area, you can try placing your workout gear in various locations around your home. Identify places where you spend a lot of time, such as the living room couch, the kitchen table, or your bedroom. Then, strategically place your workout equipment in those areas. These will serve as visual prompts for you to do a few reps whenever you can.
Stand While Attending Meetings or Working
Doing specific exercises is just one way of staying fit. Small consistent habits, like standing and walking around every few hours, can go a long way to keeping you healthy. In fact, studies have found that sitting for long hours is almost as dangerous to your well-being as smoking. Sitting all day can also increase your chances of becoming overweight and developing chronic conditions such as diabetes mellitus and heart disease.
That said, standing every so often throughout the day can lower your risk for these health conditions. That’s why it’s so important to make a habit of standing up more often if you work from home. To help you stick to this habit, you can look for a desk that can easily be adjusted from a sitting to a standing height and vice versa. Desk converters, which are essentially mini tables you can place on top of your existing desk, are another alternative. If you don’t want to spend any money on new equipment just yet, you can make a DIY standing workspace by using stacks of crates or books you have around the house.
Sit on an Exercise Ball Chair
If you must stay seated, try adding a little bounce to your workday by investing in this unique home office product. Keeping yourself upright and counteracting the movement of the stability ball does wonders for strengthening your core muscles. You can also use it for lengthier exercises once you’ve clocked out of work. With an exercise ball chair, you can do hamstring curls, leg glute raises, pushups, and more.
Most exercise ball chairs come in standard sizes, with each size being best suited for people who fall within a specific height range. That being said, many recommendations online assume that one’s body weight is proportionate to their height. If you think you’ll be more comfortable with a smaller or larger ball than recommended, go for it. Just remember to choose a model that will allow both of your feet to rest flat on the floor while you’re sitting on the ball chair.
Try an Under-desk Elliptical or a Treadmill Desk
Are you a fan of using the treadmill or elliptical at the gym? If so, you’ll be happy to know that there are now work-from-home versions of these two popular exercise machines.
As the name implies, an under-desk elliptical features the usual wheels and pedals of a typical elliptical machine. The main difference is that it doesn’t have everything else that takes up vertical space, such as the handlebars and hand grips. Because of its form factor, it can easily fit under most desks, allowing you to cycle while you work. Some models also feature a built-in seat, though this type is better suited for those with higher desks.
If you prefer treadmills, you have two options: an under-desk treadmill or a treadmill desk. Under-desk treadmills are quite like under-desk ellipticals in terms of form factor, as they don’t feature any arm rails. Because of this, under-desk treadmills can easily be slid under most work desks. Treadmill desks, on the other hand, are essentially your typical work desks modified to have a built-in treadmill that you can walk on while working. Already own a treadmill and would rather use that instead of buying new equipment? Try buying a desk attachment that you can connect to the handrails of your existing machine.
After having gone through the above pointers for staying active while working from home, we hope that you’re feeling motivated to get back on track with your fitness goals. You don’t have to completely overhaul your daily routines to become healthier. Instead, start with incorporating at least one of these tips into your typical workday. Before you know it, these little modifications to your routine will become second nature, and you’ll be feeling more energetic and productive each day!