6 Ways to Stay Active at Home
For many of us, working from home means sitting in front of a computer or on the phone, and being more sedentary than usual. We miss out on opportunities to walk to the cafeteria for lunch, or down the hall for a meeting or coffee break and can feel confined to one seated position all day. Additionally, many gyms and places we used to be active in may be closed in compliance with social distancing and COVID-19 precautions, further limiting our opportunities for exercise. It’s important to find ways to remain active with all of these changes going on. Self-isolating can cause additional stress and challenges to our mental health. And this sedentary behavior may not only feel unpleasant, but have negative effects on our health and well-being as well. Luckily, there are some quick and easy ways you can be more active and feel more connected with others.
Take Short Energy-bursting Breaks: Aim to take at least 10 minutes every hour to get away from your computer and do something active around the house. This could include stretching, lifting weights, house cleaning, or playing music and dancing around with your children (or on your own). These breaks can serve as an opportunity to connect with your family and be productive around the house all while getting you up out of your seat.
Follow an Online Exercise Class: There are a plethora of online exercise classes at your fingertips – take advantage! Many fitness instructors are now offering live or recorded virtual sessions online. Plus, there are tons of free options on YouTube. Carve out 30-60 minutes on your daily schedule to tune in and move.
Walk and Talk: Take your work calls on the move by walking around your house or outside in your neighborhood. If you don’t have any work calls, take a 15-minute break to call a friend and take a stroll! This provides a great opportunity to stretch your legs, be active and stay connected. Just make sure to keep your social distance with neighbors when walking outside.
Make a Standing Desk: Try alternating your time seated with standing every 30 minutes or so. You can create a standing desk by piling books or online delivery boxes on a desk or counter to continue working while standing. You can even try some desk exercises. These will activate your standing muscles and give your legs an opportunity to stretch out.
Take the Long Route: Be semi-less efficient to increase your number of steps throughout the day (it’s okay, it’s for a good cause!). For instance, take multiple trips when bringing in groceries or putting laundry away, use the bathroom on a different floor if your home is more than one level, or take out the trash, and then the recycling (two trips). It may not seem like a lot, but these extra steps can really add up throughout the day.
Create a Fitness Challenge! Create a daily challenge for you and your coworkers or friends. Examples include walking or running 10,000 steps per day, doing 100 squats or jumping jacks per day, or a 20-minute daily yoga practice. Participants can reach out to group chat, email chain or post on social media when they’ve completed their challenge and encourage participants to get their steps or squats in. This will not only help you stay accountable but stay connected with your coworkers, family and friends.
Learn more ways to stay active and other wellness programs offered by Wellness Workdays.