Work and Workout at Home: Exercise Your Right to Remain Sane
Our world seems to have shrunk significantly since COVID-19 became a worldwide threat. Not only are we facing some of the same fears and challenges, but our actual physical world has grown smaller, as well. Down to the size of our home to be precise.
Suddenly, we’re full-time teachers and remote employees. The change and constant stress have left many of us feeling – discombobulated, to put it nicely. Ready to zip out of our skin and run down the street screaming may be more accurate for some.
How do you practice self-care in the time of quarantine, short of simply staying inside and keeping your family safe? Self-care has gone from finding time for the occasional face mask and a few chapters of your favorite book to finding a way to remain sane.
One of the biggest challenges of self-isolation and social distancing has been the loss of control of our everyday routines.
What if instead of simply trying to survive, we leveraged these hardships to find a way to thrive? Transform your time of isolation into a (kind and gentle) bootcamp for healthy living with the following suggestions:
- Set new goals to experience a sense of control and accomplishment
- Improve productivity by working in short, manageable bursts
- Write down your plans for accountability
- Recruit workout-from-home exercise buddies for some social enjoyment
- Exercise at your desk in short intervals
New ideas for a work at home life
Being stuck at home all day with a whole lot of work to do and cabinets full of snacks means you have a lot on your plate – and loads of temptation to just go ahead and eat it. The days are long, productivity is suffering, and exercise feels nearly impossible.
What if we re-framed our perspective instead?
It’s likely that you’re no longer tempted by the idea of going out to eat. Those sugary lattes are long gone, and you’re free from the watchful eyes of gossipy co-workers. Plus, let’s face it, you live in yoga pants now anyway – we all do, right?
What if we used self-isolation as an excuse to strengthen our minds and bodies instead?
Yeah, yeah, I feel you rolling your eyes, sister, I do – but hear me out. Work is no fun, and exercise is no fun, but what if we could combine those two things, accomplish more of both in less time and have slightly more fun than no fun at all? The math checks out here, trust me.
Be more productive by working smarter
So, here’s my idea: there’s a productivity method called the Pomodoro Technique where you work in short intervals and then take a break.
For example, you work on your to-do list for 25 minutes without interruption or distraction. When the timer dings, you move onto something else for a few minutes before another bout of productivity.
If you’re stuck inside working from home, experiment with working for 25 minutes and then doing 5-10 minutes of an exercise set. You’ll keep your brain moving, your blood flowing, and your butt looking good in those stretchy pants.
You won’t be totally bored with working, since you’ll have something else going on, and your workouts won’t drag on forever since they’re spread out through the day.
Hold yourself accountable
Create some accountability (and much needed social enjoyment) by writing your exercise plan on your 1THRIVE Center. You can set up your system to show the exercises you want to do each day. The Sloan has the perfect sleek set up for you to write down your daily workout goals and check them off once you’ve finished.
Add in our free workout download, and you ready to plan out your week and start rocking this work from home exercise plan.
Now it’s time to recruit some buddies to check in with you online about your collective progress. Grab a buddy from work since they’re already in the same boat, or get some friends on board. The point here is to check in with them throughout the day.
If you recruit a friend from work for this role, there’s always the chance they will shame you in front of the rest of your co-workers, so this is a huge motivator to keep you on track.
Office-friendly exercise ideas
Using a stationary chair, place both palms flat on the seat behind you facing forward. Bend your elbows to a 90-degree angle and lower yourself down several inches while keeping your back as close to the chair as possible. Straighten your arms to rise back to the start and begin again. Do sets of 20.
Make sure your desk is sturdy enough to support your weight or use your kitchen counter instead. Place your hands flat on the surface, a little wider than shoulder-width, and lower yourself down toward the desk or countertop while keeping your core muscles tight. Straighten your arms as you push yourself up. Repeat 10 to 20 times.
Fill out those yoga pants in all the right places by incorporating some squats into your daily routine. Position your feet shoulder-width apart and lower your bottom toward the floor like you’re sitting in an invisible chair. Make sure to shift your weight to your heels so that you’re working your glutes. Use your muscles to stand back up again and repeat for a set of 10.
Imaginary jump rope
Let out some of that inner frustration and pent-up energy with an imaginary jump rope. This one is pretty self-explanatory – position your arms as if you’re holding a jump rope and hop on both feet or alternate. Challenge yourself to 60 seconds.
Go ahead and lie down on the job for a minute. Place your hands behind your head, bend your knees at a 90-degree angle, extend one leg out straight, and bring your other knee into your chest as you twist through your core to meet it with the opposite elbow. Alternate sides until you’ve done 20 on each side.
There are a lot of exercises you can incorporate into your work from home job, particularly if you have a set of small hand weights or an exercise ball. But you don’t need any of that. You can start with what you have, even if that’s nothing at all.
Get some fresh air
If you’re tired of being cooped up in your house, you can plan to get outside during your lunch break. Go for a walk around the block or grab your bike and go for a short ride. And hey, you can make it a family event by taking the kids along for some out of the house time. Or not, your call. Just remember to practice safe social distancing when you’re out and about.
Creating a routine, setting some goals, and accomplishing something new are all great ways to take some control back during these trying times. It can help you be a better employee, partner, parent, and friend as you better refine your coping mechanisms to meet our crazy new “small world” situation.
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