Working from home is becoming more and more popular. Many people work from home and there are various reasons and benefits for that, both for the employer and the employee. There are lots of perks when working from home; you don’t have to follow a dress code or you can take a lunch break whenever you feel like it.
On the other hand, some of the potential problems can be a lack of physical activity. Most of the remote work or work from home is done while sitting on your phone or at your computer, which means that you spend lots of time staying in one spot and that can cause an unhealthy lifestyle and some health issues. If you work from home, it’s important to keep yourself physically active while you’re trying to get your work done.
Why is it important to be physically active?
There are lots of reasons why being physically active is good and important for you. Physical activity can benefit your overall health by reducing the risk of having and developing diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer or type 2 diabetes.
The benefits of being physically active can be both short term and long term. If you exercise at least half an hour a day you’re most likely to improve your overall quality of life. Most people start working out and being active so that they manage to lose their weight. That’s the most common reason why people start with some physical activities. But, once they see its effects on their not only body weight but also the state of mind and health, it’s more likely they’ll continue exercising even though they’ve managed to lose weight or have a body figure they were striving for.
Probably the most valid and important reason why people keep on exercising is that exercise helps them reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety. So how does that work? When you exercise you can distract yourself from daily worries and problems, and you can block negative thoughts for a short time. If you prefer going to the gym and exercise with others, this can allow you to increase your social contacts. Physical activity can change and have an impact on your levels of the chemical in your brain (eg. endorphins, serotonin) which as a result can lift your mood.
Take a break and go for a walk
If you’re not a big fan of going to the gym, lifting weights or running, taking a walk may be a perfect way for you to be physically active without too much pressure. Going for a walk can make you feel good and more relaxed, which will help you finish your tasks easier. If the weather allows you, go outside and take a walk somewhere outside in the sun. Depending on your mood, you can go to the city center or parks where you’ll be surrounded by people; or you can take a walk to the woods and forest and enjoy some quiet and alone time.
Going for a walk will help you with two things – it will move your body and make you physically active and it will improve your mood because your blood will start pumping and endorphins will start flowing. It’s good to know that your walk doesn’t have to be necessarily long or exhausting. It can be a quick 20-minute walk that will give you the results. So, when you get tired of all the work-related stress, just get up from your computer, put on your comfortable shoes and go outside in the sunshine and enjoy your walk. This can be your motivation to finish the job easier and quicker, and it can also be your inspiration to have a more relaxed rest of the day.
Probably the most common way of exercising is going to the gym. The reason for that is because gyms are well equipped and in most cases, you can choose when you’d like to go and what kinds of exercises you’d like to do. Taking a sweaty gym session is a good idea if you plan it right.
Most people who work from home tend to exercise at home too, but it’s advisable to hit the gym and sign up for fitness classes you’d like to attend. The reason for that is because it’s harder to find excuses and procrastinate when you know at what time classes begin and when you’ve already paid for them. Employees who work from home tend to reach for a cup or two or even three cups of coffee a day. Instead of doing that and boosting your energy in that way, it’s healthier and better to go to the gym.
After your gym session, it’s advisable and a good idea to drink a shake of tasty WPC protein that will additionally help you build muscles and lose weight. This protein will start the recovery by flooding your bloodstream with amino acids (EAAs, BCAAs, Glutamine) which are transported into the muscle cells to make new muscle tissue. So, if you’re not sticking to your plan on working out at home, better sign up to certain gym and fitness classes that will help you make a workout routine that you can stick to.
Disconnect from social media
Using and engaging in social apps nowadays is quite inevitable. Technology has advanced and most people use it to make social connections or to run from daily problems and to entertain themselves for a brief moment. Social media is tempting and what you thought to be a quick scroll through Instagram and Facebook turned out to be a major time suck and a waste of time.
Technology and social media are useful and practical but only if used wisely and not having a balanced life offline and online. When you work from home apps such as Twitter and Facebook can be a major distraction. Sure, they can make you feel good but the problem with them is that you can easily get hooked on them and spend more time than you planned to. But, there are some ways to avoid this. Instagram has a good way that can help you with keeping up with your activity.
With this feature, you can set up your daily limit and the app will let you know when you overstepped it. Similar to that, some apps can help you with staying focused and restricting the amount of time you’d like to spend on them. Once you’ve overstepped your time, the restricted sites you’ve previously selected won’t be able to reach for and access them for the remainder of that day. This is a helpful tool that you can use to stay more focused on your tasks and your other daily activities, rather than spending hours and hours on social media.
Make a schedule
Whatever you plan to do in the future or the following day, it’s always easier and simpler when you put your plan on a paper and create a schedule. It’s thought to be easier to stick to a plan when you write it down. You can write up a plan and cross things as you complete them, that way you’ll keep yourself motivated to continue on that.
Your schedule should suit you and the way you do. For instance, if you’re the type of person who likes to have everything organized and planned, you should fill up your whole day. If you’re a more laid back person and prefer being spontaneous rather than organized then you won’t enjoy that much this idea. You don’t have to push yourself and make a schedule but it’s good for you to have an idea what you have to accomplish during that day and find a way for yourself to stay on task. The most important thing is to make your schedule as a reflection of your energy and the way you function.
When you think of a person who works from home it’s quite likely you’ll imagine someone who’s out of touch with a world and people. In most scenarios, this is a case, especially if you’ve been working from home for some time and if you’re an introvert who’s picky when it comes to socializing. But, no matter your personal differences and whether you’re an extrovert or introvert, it’s humane and important to make human contacts and interactions.
Working from home can disconnect you from the world and as a result, it can make you feel a bit lonely. Loneliness can lead to some bigger issues such as depression or detachment and to avoid that, it’s important for you to keep close with your friends and family and to socialize from time to time. Being in touch with at least one to two people a day can help you feel less disconnected in an isolated environment you work.
That’s why it’s advisable to find some time for social interactions in your busy schedule during the day. On the other hand, if you’re so busy and can find free time to connect with your people, there are always co-working spaces that you can use. There you may find several workers from other companies and all of you share an office space. You get a chance to use the common infrastructure (utilities, equipment etc) and most importantly you get a chance to talk to people and socialize for some time.
Don’t forget to eat
Unfortunately, some people who work from home tend to skip their meals. They either have irregular meal breaks or they order some fast food. Most of them order food using an app because it’s less time consuming than getting up and making your meal. Even though ordering food seems like a good idea since you don’t have to bother much, it’s not healthy. It’s alright to order food from time to time, but having meals like these every day will have an impact on your health for sure. It’s much better if you go out to a restaurant or even better make yourself a healthy meal. Both of these actions will force you to go out either to the restaurant or to the store to buy some food you need for cooking your meal.
Also, avoid having your meals at your desk. Let’s be honest, most people who work from home usually have their lunch in their home office but this should be avoided. Instead, go to the kitchen, sit down and enjoy your meal in peace. If you have a healthy lunch, and if you take some time to actually enjoy it you’re less likely to reach out for unhealthy snacks later during the day.
Don’t forget to schedule some breaks into your day. Even though you’d like to do your best and be the most productive, you need to take small breaks within your workday. Use these breaks to stretch a bit, to have a glass of water or to reflect on what you just did, you’re about to do or you wish to do. Use this small break to get up from the computer and give your neck, lower back and your eyes a rest from all the computer work. Most people have back issues especially in lower parts of the back from sitting too much on the computer, so use these small breaks to stretch a bit and move your muscles.
Being physically active while working from home doesn’t have to be that hard. All you need to do is to consider how you’d prefer to keep your body active, make a plan and stick to it. Being physically active is important if you’d like to take care of yourself and keep yourself healthy. Having breaks or exercising will provide you with positive effects on your physical, mental and emotional health. Physical activities will help you get your body attention it needs so it doesn’t become neglected from all the computer work.
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