Any fellow freelancers out there working from home and struggling to remain active? The struggle is real. When you have the option to sit on your arse and work yourself into the ground every day instead of exercising, for some reason, not leaving your desks seems easier.
There’s days where the most exercise I do is walking from my desk in the spare room, to the toilet, and if I’m feeling extra adventurous, to the kitchen to boil a cuppa. Thankfully, nowadays, these days are few and far between.
Why? Because after nearly four years of being freelance. I have come to believe that working all day without moving or getting fresh air isn’t beneficial to your health or your productivity.
People who have to travel to an office every day are forced to get up, get dressed, leave the house and maybe walk somewhere. Us home workers don’t have to even step out our front door if we don’t want to.
So how do you work from home, and manage to stay fit? I have picked up a few tips over the years and figured out some tactics that work, so I thought I would share them with you.
1. Do exercises when you make a cup of tea
No I’m not joking. You might look a bit odd if your neighbours spot you doing sit ups whilst the kettle is boiling, but who cares? When you take a break to make yourself a cup of tea, do an exercise while the kettle boils (which sometimes seems like forever). I used to do squats, now I’m doing press ups. Even if you just do ten each time it’s a start.
2. Get a dog, or borrow one
What’s the first thing I do every day before I sit down at my computer? I take my pooches for a walk. Whether I like it or not, come rain or shine I have to get off my rather large behind and walk the dogs, or they will annoy me until I do.
One of my dogs literally climbs on me while I’m at my desk when he wants to go out, so there’s no choice. If I didn’t have my dogs, I would walk a pathetic amount of steps each day.
At least, because I have them, I do at least an hour’s walk every single day. If you can’t own a dog, then borrow one (borrowmydoggy anyone?). If you hate dogs, then skip this suggestion, soz.
3. Always walk places when you can
It takes about ten to fifteen minutes for me to walk into town, yet I drive far too much. I’m ashamed at how many times I drive in instead of walking. I always make the excuse in my head that I don’t have enough time to walk. Rubbish. When you work from home (or just anyone in general) try and walk places instead of driving. Take the opportunity to do some exercise.
4. Join a sports club or go to exercise classes
AT least if you join some sort of club or pay for weekly classes you will most likely make yourself go. It’s hard to exercise solely on your own and still push yourself.
I’m terrible at motivating myself to actually try hard when I’m working out on my own. Throw in any element of competition and I give 100%. My martial arts classes not only up my weekly exercise, but it’s an excuse to get out of the house, and sometimes, when you work from home, you really need that.
5. Set an alert to take a break and move around every hour
You can get apps that will sound an alarm every hour (or however often you wish) to remind you to take a break and move about. As well as taking breaks to get some fresh air and do a bit of light exercise, you also need to give your eyes a rest from the screen.
6. Get a wearable device that records your steps
Get a FitBit or Jawbone Up (although I wouldn’t recommend the Jawbone, mine always falls off). These devices measure how many steps you take each day, amongst other things, and you will be surprised how much they motivate you to walk more. Before I had mine I had no idea I was sometimes only taking like twenty steps a day.
7. Set yourself challenges outside of work
Try and set yourself an active challenge to do outside of work, such as a distance running event, walking challenge or epic outdoor challenge. This will give you the extra push you need to exercise every day.
8. Make the most of your flexible working hours
You don’t necessarily have to be sat at your desk bang on 9am. If you have flexible working hours, make the most of them. For example, if you wake up one morning and really fancy a nice long walk or bike ride, go and do it, and just work later. Simples.