Work From Home: Tips to Stay Active
Every day, millions of Americans go to work without leaving their homes. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, about 20 percent of those who work from home for at least a few hours a day are full- or part-time employees. About 50 percent are self-employed.
But starting in March 2020, the medical directive to “stay at home” and practice social distancing in an effort to avoid spreading the Coronavirus (COVID-19) forced millions more to quickly learn how to telecommute and work from home.
If you’re on a weight loss journey, you’re probably wondering, “How can I work from home during these times of self isolation and keep off unwanted pounds?” After all, your “office” is suddenly far too close to your kitchen and you may be stressed trying to diet and stay active during the Coronavirus issue.
We’re here for you and our health and wellness experts at The Leaf are ready to help! First, check out this article on The Leaf for some great work from home tips to get you started. > Then, focus your attention on the few pitfalls of working at home that you might not have considered, like exercise. You may notice yourself getting distracted from your home workout routine, home yoga session or cardio workouts.
One reason many people who work from home say they have trouble losing weight is that they’re less active. With no distractions like co-workers, you’re less likely to get up and move around when you’re on the job at home. The weight loss experts at The Leaf put together some tips to get you up and about during this time of social distancing and self isolation. Learn how working from home for social distancing can be a wellness opportunity for burning extra calories and toning muscles, even if you can’t go very far.
Here are nine tips to stay fit and avoid weight gain while you work from home:
1. Set a different kind of “get up” alarm.
Set your computer calendar or watch alarm to go off every 30 minutes (if you can) to tell you to simply get up and walk around. According to John Hopkins Medicine, a 2017 study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, found that even if you exercise for 30 minutes a day, sitting most of the other 23.5 hours still puts you at risk of dying prematurely from heart disease, cancer and other illnesses. On the other hand, walking around and moving about every 30 minutes will keep the negative effects of having your butt in a chair at bay.
Just standing won’t do, so investing in a standing desk may not help. According to the University of Waterloo, another study found, “50 percent of participants developed low back pain when asked to stand at an ergonomic desk for two consecutive hours. None of the participants were previous back pain sufferers.” So, take a little time and set reminders to stretch, do some calisthenics or home yoga poses to promote flexibility, burn some calories and tighten up your muscles. Check out these seven low impact exercises you can do at home during your workday while practicing social distancing during the Coronavirus concern.
2. Don’t work in your PJs.
Make an effort to change out of your pajamas in the morning. However, don’t work at home in business casual either. Put on your exercise gear and sneakers so you’re always ready for a quick fitness break. You’ll feel ready to take on the day and avoid any excuses to get moving. Check out these must-have fitness gear items to help you stay active and working out while you work from home!
3. Keep a big bottle of water at your desk.
Keeping a water bottle nearby will remind you to drink plenty of H2O throughout the day. This will help you prevent dehydration and keep cravings away. If you think you’re hungry, practicing healthy hydration by drinking a glass of water first can ensure the feeling isn’t just thirst. And as an added bonus, drinking more water will help you get more activity into your day—getting up and walking to the bathroom counts as exercise!
4. Remember the dog.
Your furry friend thinks your new work-from-home routine is the best thing that has ever happened—all their favorite people are home! Even if you have a fenced-in yard, walking the dog a few times a day or playing some fun games of fetch are easy home workouts that are healthy for both you and your four-legged friend!
5. Take meetings and phone calls on the go.
Unless your boss or clients want a face-to-face Zoom meeting, you can have your conference call on the phone while you take a stroll. Walk around your house or apartment, your block or even a nearby park or green area. A 30-minute phone meeting at 4 miles per hour can burn anywhere from 135 to 200 calories, says Harvard Health.
6. Get and use a fitness tracker.
A fitness tracking device is your own personal biofeedback machine. It will tell you how much activity you’ve gotten at any time of the day, so you know when to step it up. Set a personal goal that you want to reach like 5,000 or 10,000 steps a day and watch your progress. It will keep your fitness motivation and weight loss motivation sky high! If you have a Fitbit activity tracker, make sure to sync it up to your NuMi app and log your daily movement. Click here to learn how. >
7. Don’t work through lunch.
When you’re dieting, skipping meals is a major no-no. By the time you raise your head from your work, your appetite is bound to be roaring and the temptation to overeat will be almost irresistible. Even worse, it sets you up for another urge to be stressed out and binge. According to Forbes.com, taking a lunch break can help workers be more productive, creative, focused, energized and less stressed. They explain, “nearly 90% of North American employees claim that taking a lunch breaks helps them feel refreshed and ready to get back to work.”
According to Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, many scientific studies have found a strong correlation between stress and binge eating. This is partly because the stress hormone cortisol increases appetite and boosts our motivation to eat, says Harvard Health. When we’re stressed out, we don’t binge-eat broccoli. We’re more likely to reach for foods high in fat and sugar which dampens our stress reaction.
Stick to a set meal schedule and follow your lunch break with a stroll. Don’t forget your healthy meal prep routine during self isolation and working from home. Take a peek at these grocery foods to stock up on during social distancing to stay healthy and happy during this time.
8. Choose your workspace carefully.
You’ve probably figured out that plopping your computer on the kitchen island is not a great idea—it’s too close to temptation! But carving an area out of your bedroom isn’t wise either. Bedrooms should be an oasis of calm and relaxation which will be canceled out by a laptop and pile of work files within sight. Choose a corner of your living room, family room or even a space in a large foyer for your temporary office.
9. Don’t slack on sleep.
Getting a good night’s sleep is vital to your weight loss success. According to Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, studies have found that people who don’t get enough sleep at night are more likely to put on weight. They explain that there are many reasons for this: Missing out on sleep can make you too tired to exercise and effect appetite-controlling hormones. You can also end up eating more calories because you’re spending more time awake. Set a strict sleeping schedule and stick to it!
Be sure to read more of our healthy recipes and workouts compiled by the wellness experts at The Leaf to stay active and on track with your weight loss journey during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Want healthy meals delivered to your door while you’re stuck at home? Learn more about Nutrisystem >