The Importance of Work-at-Home Fitness.
Congratulations! You finally managed to wrestle your way into a work-from-home schedule. You can probably picture it now: lounging in your pajamas, snoozing away the morning, and mocking all those morning commuters. Working from home has obvious benefits: a better work-life balance and fewer trips to the gas station. But, like with many things, there are downsides to this flexibility.
According to a 2012 survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, telecommuting may lead to higher expectations from your boss and a longer work week. While research Flex+Strategy Group Inc. Suggests that remote worker exercise at higher rates than their more-rooted counterparts, they are still prone to bursts of inactivity. If you previously spent all day sitting on your butt, you shouldn’t expect that to change just because you’ve moved closer to your treadmill. In fact, you might end up moving less over the course of a normal workday. After all, fewer interruptions means less time away from your desk.
To keep a healthy balance between home and work, you’ll need to set some new boundaries about meal and exercise breaks. Here are four tips to help keep you incorporate healthy living into your work-at-home routine.
Early to Rise, Early to Exercise: Use that Commuting Time to Jumpstart a Work-at-Home Fitness Routine
According to Credit Donkey, the average commuter drives nearly half an hour to work. Telecommuting gives you that time back. Instead of snoozing that time away, why not start your day off with a work out? You don’t need a high-end home gym either, just a place to exercise. Personally, I’m rather partial to the kettlebell. They’re easy to use and perfectly-sized for home workouts. Get started with a proper technique by visiting the DBK program at Daily Burn or Kettlebells for Dummies.
Keep Your Snacks Healthy and Close at Hand: The Nutritional Aspect of Work-At-Home Fitness
Your work-from-home lifestyle means you’ll be spending a lot of time on conference calls. All that chattering makes people peckish. So, you’ll need to keep some healthy snacks, such as protein bars or almonds, within arm’s reach;this also helps stops you from cracking open the Pringles jar on your next break. While sitting at your desk doesn’t burn a lot of calories, your brain still needs fuel to get through the day. In fact, Scientific American concluded that the brain represents roughly 20 percent of our resting metabolic rate. Your brain, as it cannot store energy like your muscles do, consumes energy at a constant rate. To keep your brain running optimally, you shouldn’t go more than four hours between snacks.
Move at Least Once an Hour.
Researchers currently believe that Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) is a key factor determining weight loss success. Set an alarm on your phone, or download an application like StandApp to remind you to get off your butt on a regular basis. A quick one-minute workout is enough to boost your productivity and processing power. Even short periods of stretching, or standing, makes a huge difference to your overall health.
Make Better Use of Your Lunch Hour
While at the office, you likely stayed at your desk the entire lunch hour. Now that you’re working from home, however, you need to take better advantage of your time. If not, you’ll start to go stir-crazy. Mark yourself as out-of-office and take a quick walk around the block. But, even if it’s tempting to never get out of your pajamas, you shouldn’t let your relationships with coworkers suffer. Schedule a lunch with your coworkers occasionally to remind them you’re still part of the team. Utilizing your lunch hour properly lets telecommuters stay healthy, happy, and connected.
It takes approximately 28 days to form new habits, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you need a few weeks to adjust. If you celebrate your successes and try to learn from your mistakes, you should end up at the front of the telecommuting pack. Remember, even though you’re at home, that you should always be WORKING. Set aside all that money you saved on Starbucks and fill-ups and have yourself a well-deserved vacation!