One of the perks of working from home is that you have the option of wearing your comfy workout clothes all day long. But let’s face it: While tending to job demands, miscellaneous deadlines, child care, family responsibilities, household chores, yard work, school projects, pet duties, doctor appointments, phone calls, and a host of other obligations and interruptions, there’s likely precious little time left over to fit in a sweat session.
But with a little creativity, you can take advantage of the few spare minutes you have here and there as you perform your job tasks at home. An added bonus: Squeezing some exercise into your work day can enhance your concentration and ultimately increase your productivity.
Below are some suggestions from Laser Spine Institute on simple ways that you can make the most of the limited time you have to exercise. Just make sure to check with your physician before starting any new exercise program.
Don’t walk – Lunge! Whether you’re going to the fridge for a drink or getting something out of your car, do lunges there and back. With your upper body straight, your shoulders back, and your chin pointing forward, step forward with one leg. Then lower your hips until both of your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. Your front knee should be directly above your ankle and your other knee should not touch the floor. Keep your weight on your heels and push back up to your starting position, and then repeat with the other leg. Proceed, one leg at a time, until you get to your destination.
Balance on one foot – The ability to keep one’s balance becomes more important as we grow older, and one way to practice balancing is by doing things on one foot. For example, you can balance on one foot as you transfer clothes from the washer to the dryer, while you’re on a call with a client, or when you’re waiting for a document to come out of your printer. Remember to switch from one foot to the other throughout the day so that both sides of your body get balancing practice. Also, when you lift up a foot, get it up there! Hold your ankle to the opposite knee, or extend your leg out in front of you, to the side, and to the back. Stand on one leg as long as you can with each try, and challenge yourself to balance longer and longer.
Abdominal squeeze – This is one of the most misunderstood exercises, but when done correctly, can be very effective at strengthening the abdominal muscles. It’s also something you can do when you’re sitting at your desk, standing in the kitchen, or watching TV. Here’s how it works. This description may sound unpleasant, but when you squeeze your abs, you should pretend that you are pushing something out of the bottom of your body. As you do this, you should be able to touch your stomach and feel how tight your abdominal muscles are. Do this as frequently as you can and over time, you will notice how strong your abdominal muscles are getting!
Chair squats — Squats are a powerhouse exercise that is very effective for body strengthening, and you can easily complete a few every time you are ready to sit down in your chair:
“Non-exercise” exercises — Whenever you move – no matter how trivial the movement is – your body expends energy and burns calories, and the effects of many small movements can add up over time. And when you’re working from home, there’s no limit to what you can do since you don’t have to worry about disturbing coworkers. Here are some ideas to keep yourself on the go while working from home:
To protect your back, it’s important to always be mindful of your form, particularly when changing positions from sitting to standing. To do so, slide your hips to the edge of your chair, position your feet directly under your knees and bend from your hips, using the arms of your chair for leverage, if needed.
If you make exercise a part of your everyday work-at-home routine, you’ll likely find that you are healthier, happier and more productive over the long run. And, by following these simple steps, you won’t need a gym membership or any fancy equipment to do so.