Currently approximately one in five of every man, woman and child around the world are still in lockdown. There has never been a more important time for staying healthy when working from home.
Are you completely over being in lockdown and starting to climb the walls if only to get away from the sound of teenagers squabbling over who has the last orange in the fruit bowl or someone else asking “What were you thinking for dinner?” which is really code for “what are YOU cooking for dinner?” I'm pretty sure I've lost a millimetre off the surface of my teeth grinding them together.
I have worked from home forever. First as a stay at home mum, then a blogger, then a health coach trying to set up a business at home and now with this virus a blogger/health coach trying to jazz up my online presence. So now I am old hat at spending day after day at home without contact with the outside world. Keeping healthy working from home, in the beginning, was not a priority for me. I soon learnt that sitting for great lengths of time and eating whatever I felt like was not great for my health. My introduction into perimenopause was like a baptism of fire, literally and figuratively.
I have learned a few tips and tricks along the way and would like to pass them on to you.
You will learn how to:
- Keep fit at home without the need for equipment or going to the gym
- Practice Good Nutrition when the fridge is right there. All-day.
- Practice self-care which is most important and often the first thing to fall off the wagon when you are forced into working from home.
Staying Fit Without The Need For A Gym
I absolutely refuse to pay the exorbitant prices charged at gyms and prefer to be in charge of my own fitness.
Consistency is absolutely key here. Work out which days and times you want to exercise and stick to it.
Try getting up at least a half an hour earlier than you normal to enable you to fit your fitness routine into your morning. Then it’s done, dusted and out of the way leaving the rest of your day clear to do other things. This may not be for everyone but if you are not sure I urge you to give it a go and enjoy what I think is the most magical time of day.
There are 5 key components to an all-round fitness program:
- Aerobic work
- Resistance work
- Stretching and
This can be as simple as a walk or bike ride. Maybe start small with one kilometre and build up to two or three. You could incorporate some mindfulness by meditating while you walk. Nothing like killing two wellbeing activities with one stone or step as the case may be.
Choose a hill to walk up to raise your heart rate or you can try walk-run, running on the spot, pedalling faster or skipping. Anything that gets you a little puffed.
You can try building your own dumb-bell routine or you may prefer bands or even body-weight as is used a lot in yoga. Check out this post for some great beginner yoga routines:
Increase flexibility with a routine of stretches or yoga poses.
I am naughty here as my cooldown is fairly non-existent but it is important if you have tired out your muscles and got your heart rate up to take the time to let your muscles and heart rate return to their resting state.
More tips for making your exercise successful:
- Start at the same time every day. Work out what time best suits you and stick to it. Schedule it into your calendar. It is worth noting that the experts say early morning is best. It is a time when there are less distractions making it easier for you to stay motivated.
- Check out Google for a fitness routine that you like and suits your level of fitness and flexibility. Be careful to make sure you are doing the exercises correctly and the best way to tell is how it feels. If it hurts or is putting too much pressure on a joint it is not likely to be correct.
- Set yourself achievement goals. The best way to do this is to keep a journal and continually challenge yourself to stretch a bit further to do one more lift or squat. So you don’t forget to write down how many you have done and how it felt. Push yourself only with consideration for your ability.
- Always have your WHY in sight. You are doing this for you not because you're sick of the family telling you they love your wobbly bits.
- Enjoy it! Do exercises you actually enjoy doing, dance, Zumba, spinning. Whatever floats your boat. If you enjoy it you are more likely to stick to it.
- Water is the elixir of life and keeps everything moving including your body. You won’t get as much from your workout if you are dehydrated. So drink up.
- Give yourself the gift of a day off from exercise. Look forward to that day and schedule something fun to do. I personally take Fridays off and will often head out (laws permitting) for a coffee in the park with my daughters and partner.
Have you managed to stick to a good habit that helps you achieve your fitness goals while working from home? Let us in on the secret.
Nutrition When There Is Easy Access To The Fridge And Treat Cupboard
Eating healthily while working from home is always important but now more than ever. It is important not only for our physical health but possibly even more importantly for our mental well being.
A healthy diet reduces our risk of chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity, as well as depression and anxiety.
Don’t consider it dieting but feeding your body the nutrients it needs to function at its best.
See this post about calling the way you eat a DIET!
Not surprisingly the best foods for our mental health are the healthy ones. As if we didn’t already know this.
So we’re talking fruit, vegetables and whole grains that provide important nourishment not only for our bodies but our brains. As they slowly release energy, they also stabilize our moods.
B Vitamins -
are good for boosting your brain health as well as providing the hormones serotonin and dopamine which are our version of happy pills. They are found in green vegetables like broccoli and spinach, beans, bananas, eggs, poultry, fish and beetroot.
Support our gut health which our mental health is greatly reliant on. They are found in fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, tempeh, kombucha and yoghurt. Also, prebiotics found in asparagus, flaxseed, leeks, apples, bananas and cocoa.
Vitamin C -
Boosts immunity and helps to protect our body cells from inflammation. A healthy immune system is better able to fight off viruses. Include fruits like oranges, lemons, kiwis, avocadoes, tomatoes, berries etc.
If you are finding it difficult
to lay your hands on fresh fruit and veg try substituting with frozen. Frozen produce is generally ripened for longer so may actually be more nutrient-dense than fresh, unless you can find locally grown which is fresh. Fortunately here in Queensland, our fresh produce markets are still operating so we don’t have that battle to overcome.
Include Vitamin D-Rich foods -
Being inside lowers your chances of getting some sun exposure which allows you to absorb vitamin D the mood-boosting vitamin. Sitting on your balcony or near a window is just as good. Include Vitamin D rich sources in your diet like fortified dairy-free milk, tofu, orange juice and mushrooms
Super-boost your immunity.
Add garlic and ginger to your day. These foods also contain properties which can help fight viruses like a cold or flu.
Make sure to include good protein -
Protein-rich foods also help repair body tissue and fight viral and bacterial infections. Include legumes, lentils and chickpeas which contain vitamin B, iron, zinc, magnesium.
- Frozen fruits and vegetables in their most raw state. Try to avoid frozen meals as they are high in additives such as sugar and sodium.
- To keep costs down try cooking from scratch. Get the family involved. It’s a great time to reconnect and get back to basics.
- Minimize your purchase of processed treats that add no nutritional value to your day, such as chips, soda, lollies, cookies and ice cream. Spend your money wisely.
Practice self-care and mindfulness
Current events keep many people glued to the news. Turn it off. We know it’s bad lets not binge on that stuff. If you want to keep up with what's happening, check the headlines each morning. Quickly read anything that seems important and leave it there.
Don’t binge watch Netflix or randomly look for the next bad movie to watch. Read a book, take a walk, do some journal writing or get creative. Disconnect to reconnect to you and those close to you.
In reality, self-care looks different for everyone but at its essence is the idea that you can do whatever makes you feel good or gives you enjoyment and takes you out of thinking critically and into just being and enjoying. Here are some ideas:
- Learn a new skill like knitting, crocheting, embroidery, quilting.
- Cook. Get mindful and lose yourself in a complicated recipe then enjoy the spoils of your effort whether alone or with your family.
- Colour, doodle or draw. Colouring is proven to reduce stress so give it a go. You don’t need a special book just a piece of paper and some coloured pencils.
- Start learning a new language. Duo Lingo is a great app for doing this.
Check more ideas out over at A Clean Bake
It is not necessary to be with someone else to enjoy the passing of time but being at home alone will increase the capacity of inner chatter that is not helpful. Make time to connect with friends and family digitally.
I hope this post helps you to make some good choices to allow you to keep healthy while working from home. Leave your thoughts and any of your own tips you may have in the comments for all of us to enjoy and benefit from.