Staying Healthy While Working Remotely: Moving Your Body
Working remotely away from the regular schedule of commuting to an office can present a variety of challenges and benefits in one’s ability to care for themselves. In this post we’re sharing our staff’s ways of staying healthy whilst working from home – getting the body moving!
Usually I do find myself getting up from my desk and either walking around or just simply stretching. Through the week I play futsal, which really helps to loosen up the body after sitting at a computer all day. I also try to go to the gym for weight lifting as often as I can. However, it’s become quite a rare occurrence.
I love my gym schedule and I’m usually there about 4 times a week. So I do find it difficult to maintain my routine and strength when I’m working somewhere remotely. What I’ve learned to do during these times is Calisthenics training where I use my body weight for resistance. It basically means you can use any surface as a gym. Monkey bars at a kids playground? Gym. Dining room chair? Gym. Pub Bench? Good way to get kicked out.
I’ll also try and walk everywhere I go, or run, or cycle. That way you get to see much more of the area that you’re working from and you miss out on the road rage. It’s honestly that much more relaxing.
I have started really maintaining my core too with yoga. Initially, I was opposed to the idea, because I thought it was just for young girls. But I found out that so many different types of people go. It comes with some great benefits, especially coupled with muscle exercise. It helps you recover and take time to listen to your body. And, there are some fantastic workouts for your core.
Bodies are such strange, annoying things sometimes! Our modern lifestyle of sitting at a computer doesn’t do much good for us. Our shoulders and necks lock up, our backs get sore, our posture gets worse! So, sometimes we really need to work at taking care of these vessels of ours.
This past year I’ve started being more proactive about taking care of my body in numerous ways.
Massages & Exercise Classes
I’ve been going for regular massages, at least once a month. I used to tell myself that massages were a luxury and were too expensive to do regularly. But, honestly, when you find a good massage practitioner and you feel the difference they make to your body’s health, it is worth the money! There’s something to be said for the whole “treat yourself” movement, but seriously, it’s just being responsible. Take care of your body before it all goes south!
In addition to my semi-regular massages, I finally did something else I’ve been meaning to do for years. I signed up for pilates classes! So, once a week on a Wednesday morning, I’ll go and do 45 minutes of reformer pilates at a local studio. There is always a physiotherapist staff member who assists you in the class and directs you on which exercises to do on the provided equipment. I find that so much more useful than going to a traditional gym! I’ve tried gyms before, but always felt like I was struggling, even when I had a personal trainer. Reformer Pilates felt much more suited to my body and my personality.
When I’m at home working, I just have a few simple things. After all, we’re busy people, so something quick and simple is sometimes the best way to go.
- To remind myself to get up from the computer and stretch, I have timers set to go off every hour.
- I will sometimes stand up and walk about more often than this as well, especially if I’m remembering to drink water and need to refill my bottle or glass.
- In the morning before I start working, I’ll do at least 10 pushups and 10 tricep dips. It’s not much, but I set the goal small on purpose, so that I’m more likely to actually do it.
- Sometimes I’ll do a quick ‘sun salutation’ yoga sequence, but I usually forget about this! I’m not perfect, but I’ll work on it! ;)
I also want to improve my endurance and cardio for activities such as walking. I used to ride my bike when I had easy access to Kedron Park Bikeway, but then I moved house to somewhere with hills and I stopped riding… shame on me, I know. And unfortunately, where I live in Australia, there isn’t much public transport nearby. So if I have to go to the shops or visit a friend, I usually have to drive instead of walk. Now and then I’ll take myself to the local beach and spend at least 30 minutes walking along the edge of the ocean, just to get my legs moving for once. But, I’m moving to London, so I’ll have new areas to explore and no car! I predict lots of walking in my future!
I am not a gym person, a yoga person, or a running person. Some days I’m barely a person at all. My cardio comes from walking to the fridge. My strength training comes from… well, wine bottles are pretty tough to get open sometimes. Nothing like opening wine for a good work out.
In all seriousness though, I find one of the most useful routines is stretching. In the usual office environment nothing gets you stranger looks than spreading yourself out on the floor. But now that I work remotely from home, I get a great opportunity to do my stretches throughout the day.
I sit at a computer for most of my day and that really takes a toll. Getting up to do stretches gives me time away from the screen and gives me time to clear my head.