By Cheryl Lock
Getting work done always feels great, but spending practically the whole day without moving rarely feels good. People who work remotely might find it all too easy to fall into a pattern that involves very little movement, let alone actual exercise.
To help you stay fit and focused while working remotely, consider instituting some of these suggestions.
8 Tips to Stay Fit When You Work Remotely
1. Walk and Talk
Even if you don’t work remotely, most of us spend hours a day at our computers. But no matter what job you have, it’s likely that you occasionally have to pick up the phone for an actual call (or have a video chat). One easy way to get in a little extra movement is to make it a practice to stand and pace any time you’re on the phone, and the extra blood flow just might help you better concentrate too.
2. Skip the Junk Food
Working from home means there aren’t surprise donuts in the break room or a monthly birthday celebration with cake. However, that doesn’t mean you’ll find yourself free from temptation. Since you get to stock the “break room” however you wish, make sure to include healthy snack options.
Try keeping them in easy-to-grab containers. And instead of leaving them at your desk, keep them in the kitchen. It’s a great way to sneak in a few extra steps during the day.
3. Stay Hydrated
You’ve probably heard that you should drink eight glasses of water a day to stay hydrated. That’s excellent advice. It’s easy to remember and relatively easy to accomplish. However, you might need more than that. Specifically, men might need as much as 15.5 cups of fluid per day, and women might need as much as 11.5 cups.
Fortunately, though, meeting those guidelines doesn’t mean only drinking water. You can include milk, juice, tea, and even fruits and vegetables (like watermelon and spinach) to help reach your hydration goals.
But sitting at your desk all day focusing on your tasks means you might forget to hydrate. So, keep a water bottle at your desk to remind you to drink up. You can get a large one that holds your daily hydration requirement that you fill at the beginning of the day and drink until it’s gone. Or, use a smaller water bottle that you refill at regular intervals (and keeps you walking back and forth to the kitchen!).
4. Make Time for Exercise
While you could hit the gym five times a week, you don’t have to do anything quite so formal to stay fit when you work remotely. Since you likely have a flexible schedule, you can sneak in smaller workouts whenever it’s convenient for you.
For example, schedule some time during your day to take a walk. That could include walking the dog, running some errands, or even taking a lunch break to walk with a friend. Think creatively about what counts as exercise too. Lifting free weights in your basement counts, but so can vacuuming your three-level house!
5. Take Stretch Breaks
Even when you schedule exercise, sneak in some movement, eat healthily, and stay hydrated, it may not be enough! Sitting at the computer for long periods can wreak havoc on our eyes and joints as well.
To help combat those issues, set a recurring alarm in your phone for every 20 minutes to take 20 seconds to look away from your computer, stand up, and do a quick stretch.
6. Stream It
Not only does technology make remote work possible, but it also makes staying fit possible too!
If heading to the gym isn’t a possibility, consider streaming your workouts instead. You’ll get to skip the commute and the communal changing room but still get all the benefits of a great workout. And while you could invest in a lot of equipment, you don’t have to. Many routines don’t require much—if any—equipment at all!
7. Office Ergonomics
While exercising and eating right are important to maintaining your physical health, so too is setting up an ergonomically correct home office.
Instead of sitting at the dining room table or on the couch, invest in a proper desk and chair that supports your posture and reduces muscle strain. From there, make sure you place your monitor, keyboard, and mouse in the right places too.
Exercising and eating right helps us stay physically fit. But don’t forget about being mentally fit too. Though working at home can be far less stressful than working in an office, that doesn’t mean it’s entirely stress-free.
Consider making time for mediation before, during, or after your workday. There are many benefits to meditation, and though it will take some time and practice, over time, you may find yourself more productive and happier at wo