I have often had a difficult time staying healthy while working at home. There are just so many things that have to be done and so many distractions that getting a little exercise every day is just not a priority. After some time passes I notice that my pants are a little tighter around the waist, my shirts show the evidence of the spare tire I am carrying around, and I just don’t feel as good as I should physically. Then I begin to face that fact that I have been avoiding stepping on the scale in my bathroom, so I decide to take a peak…I mean, it can’t be that bad! The truth hurts and now there is no denying it. It’s time to make some changes!
Does this story strike a similar chord with you? Has the relaxed life of running an at-home business taken its toll on both health and your wardrobe? Well luckily for both of us we can make little changes that will start to payoff pretty quickly! Let’s take a look at the options we have.
The first step to staying healthy is always to stay hydrated. Drinking a ton of soda or fruit juices doesn’t count! I have a 32 oz Nalgene that I fill with water, and I try to empty it twice each day. If nothing else, at least once. Now if you are like me, you might not like drinking just straight water. I routinely make trips to the store to get drink flavorings, like MiO, Crystal Light, or even the generic store brand. I usually get liquid flavoring that is electrolyte enhanced! Pick out a couple of flavors that you think you will enjoy and use them!
One of the best things about drinking a lot of water is that it speeds up that metabolism. It causes you kidneys to start working harder than usual, flushing out your system, and your body starts to pick up some fat burning speed. The other benefit from it is that it will force you to get up and move! Let’s face it, all this fluid is going to require you to take regular and frequent potty breaks. My office is down in the basement of my home, and I prefer using the upstairs bathroom. Getting up every 15 – 20 minutes while climbing the stairs each time starts to add up! Hey, that leads into the next step!
Get Up and Move
For many of us, our at-home business tends to involve a lot of sitting. This is not a good thing, but unfortunately it is a very easy thing to do. I will often look down at the clock on my computer screen and see that I have been sitting at my desk for literally hours. There are all sorts of health issues related to sitting for a long time, some of them can be much more serious than others. This can be avoided by just getting up regularly and moving. How often and for how long?
The general guideline is to try to get 10 minutes of movement every hour that you are sitting. This can be broken up however you want. One suggestion is to spend 5 minutes doing just regular office or household things, like getting a drink, take a potty break, go do a couple chores, and whatever else you can think of to fall into this category. Then spend 5 minutes, maybe half an hour later, doing some stretches or a short workout. This is something that might take a little getting used to for most of us, but setting an alarm on your phone or something else might be the perfect reminder. I know that I have to set an alarm or I tend to forget…I have a horrible short term memory for things like this!
Yoga and Body Weight Exercise
Doing a little yoga is the perfect way to stay healthy while you are working from home. You don’t have to go all crazy with it either! You can just use some of your break time each hour doing a few stretches and positions. One of the issues with sitting for too long is that your tendons get used to that position and start to tighten, especially the hamstrings! This leads to a lot of back issues which can be avoided my simply doing some stretching throughout the day. Yoga also is a great way to burn some calories! You can do a google search to find all sorts of information on yoga. Another option is to check out Nerd Fitness. They have a wonderful yoga program that is designed to be done anywhere, and it doesn’t cost all that much to get it. Check it out!
Most of us don’t have home gyms, but that doesn’t stop us from being able to get a nice workout in whenever we have the time. Doing a quick search for body weight exercise will show you a large number of exercise options that you can do with nothing more than your own body weight. It is a very simple way to stay in great shape! Better yet, a lot of these exercises will use things that you can find around your house. For instance I have seen a program that utilized nothing but yourself and a chair. That’s it! For beginners, or someone that hasn’t exercised in a long time, this is a great way to get a quick workout.
Remember to Eat
Sometimes when I get into something that is really important, or that is involving a lot of my concentration, I will often forget to stop and eat lunch or grab a quick snack. Missing meals is really bad for your metabolism! You have to make sure, just like with everything else we have talked about here, to set time aside to get some food in you. Some nice protein and a little carbs fuel your body and your mind which will allow you to work more efficiently. That all being said, do not get a case of the snack attacks! Sitting a bag of chips, or some other snack food down in your work area is usually a bad idea. I don’t know how many times I put some tortilla chips down next to me, then after a while I reach in the bag and find that it is completely empty! I don’t even remember eating it all, but the proof is there. Get up, take a break, and make a concentrated effort to focus on what you are eating, whether it be a full meal or a little snack.
Hopefully this has helped get you thinking about ways to better improve your health while still working from home. I wish you all the best in life, success, and your health!