Many professionals have had to drastically alter their daily activities to integrate remote work into their lives this past year. While this meant working from the comfort of their own homes, it also may have led to a more sedentary lifestyle than the naturally active one they once enjoyed when commuting to work daily.
A lack of physical activity can lead to severe problems for a human body, including obesity, heart disease, diabetes and more, along with the depression and anxiety that can arise from having to deal with such maladies. For those who have not yet returned to the office, what is the best way to recover from an increasingly inactive lifestyle and make sure they’re getting enough exercise to keep their mind and body healthy?
Here, seven experts from Forbes Coaches Council look at their favorite ways of combating these potential health issues by seizing opportunities to be more active within an otherwise sedentary workday.
1. Flip The Script And Embrace The Right Mindset
Mindset is important. If you equate home with a lack of physical activity and being sedentary, of course you’re going to be lethargic. Flip the script. Embrace the opportunity to get creative with physical activity in your space. Doing high-intensity exercises, using minimal to no equipment, within a short amount of time can have more impact than other routines. Make home workouts fun, varied and interesting. – Arthi Rabikrisson, Prerna Advisory
2. Schedule Regular Exercise Breaks
Working from home has had many impacts, and lack of exercise is one of them. A few ideas to try out: Schedule 10 to 15 minutes between meetings for a stroll in your own backyard or around your home, take a walk during calls that don’t involve presentations (which worked very well for me, even at the office) and schedule workouts during what used to be your commute time. – Gowri Ramani, Coach Lumen
3. Incorporate Fitness And Movement Into Your Day
Figure out which calls you can take while out on a walk. It may surprise you how many meetings don’t require you to be in front of your computer. Create an hourly movement plan. I have my fitness tracker remind me to move each hour. When it goes off, I jog on my mini trampoline for five minutes or dance to a song. – Krista Neher, Boot Camp Digital
4. Rethink And Reshape Your Day
Rethink and reshape your day to make time and space for physical activity. Create a new rhythm for yourself. Map out your time. Consider all of the possibilities for both shorter and longer periods of time. Moving our bodies for even two or three minutes helps our thinking and perspective. Find five times in the day to get up. Block the time. Test it out. Experiment. Create a new rhythm for you to move and feel good. – Cheryl Breukelman, Epiphany Coaches Inc.
5. Get A Sit/Stand Desk
A quick and easy step to increase physical activity throughout your workday is to get a sit/stand desk. They sell rather inexpensive platforms that sit on top of your desk online, and these can easily raise and lower the height of your working desktop. Coupled with a stress-relieving mat underfoot, you can increase your blood flow and physical activity all day long. – John Knotts, Crosscutter Enterprises
6. Reset Boundaries And Rebalance Your Flow
Pre-pandemic, high achievers tended to deliberately schedule a balance of work, life and self-care. If you’re wanting to reset and get back into your balanced flow, ask yourself, “What is driving my decision to disregard my tendencies toward self-care and success?” What boundaries do you need to reset to get back to intentionally focusing on taking care of yourself? – Sheila Carmichael, Transitions D2D, LLC
7. List Activities That Once Accompanied Your Organic Exercise
Consider expanding your self-awareness by creating a list of activities and interactions that used to accompany your organic exercise. Doing this might surprise you by giving you ideas for exercising while meeting other needs. Consider imagining your home as your new office, then charting a course that is similar to your previous walk. Set a schedule to walk that course twice daily to start. Hope this works! – Ruth Simone, Luminare Coaching & Consulting